Do You Have to Tie Turkey Legs Together? Debunking the Myth

Yes, tying turkey legs together helps cook the legs and the thighs evenly. This step ensures that the turkey meat is cooked to perfection and prevents the legs from drying out while the rest of the bird cooks.

When preparing a thanksgiving turkey, one of the most common questions is whether or not to tie the legs together. The answer is yes, it is important to tie the legs together. This simple step ensures that the bird cooks evenly, preventing the legs from overcooking or drying out while the rest of the turkey cooks.

Additionally, tying the legs together helps the turkey maintain its shape and presentation when serving. While it may seem like a small detail, taking the time to tie the legs together can make a big difference in the overall taste and appearance of your thanksgiving centerpiece.

Introducing The Myth Of Tying Turkey Legs Together

The myth of tying turkey legs together is a popular topic during the holiday season. The idea of binding the legs with twine or string has been around for generations, but where did it originate? Many people believe it is just a traditional way of cooking a turkey, but there are also a few myths associated with it.

Some claim that it helps to hold the stuffing in place, while others believe it makes the turkey cook more evenly. However, these claims have been debunked by popular chefs and culinary experts. So, why do people still bind the turkey legs together?

It seems to be more of a visual preference, as a neatly tied turkey looks more aesthetically pleasing on the table.

Why Tying Turkey Legs Together Is Not Necessary?

Tying turkey legs together has been a long-standing tradition handed down from generation to generation. Many people believe that it helps cook the turkey evenly and keeps it from drying out. However, the truth is that it’s not necessary to tie the legs together.

The anatomy of turkey legs doesn’t affect cooking, and tying them can create potential hazards. For instance, it can make it difficult to cook the turkey’s thigh to the required temperature, resulting in foodborne illnesses. Moreover, as the turkey roasts, its legs contract, leading to uneven cooking if tied together.

Debunking the myth with scientific evidence and expert opinions confirm that there’s no need to tie the turkey’s legs. Leaving them untied is a safe and effective way to roast your turkey perfectly.

Alternative Ways To Keep Turkey Legs In Place

It is crucial to keep turkey legs in place while cooking to ensure even cooking and an attractive presentation. While tying them together is a popular method, there are other alternatives to consider. One option is to use a roasting rack, which elevates the turkey and keeps it from touching the bottom of the pan.

Another option is to use aluminum foil to wrap the turkey legs together, which helps hold them in place. However, this method can also trap in moisture and create steam, leading to a different texture. A final option is to simply tuck the turkey legs under the bird’s body, which works best for smaller turkeys.

Ultimately, the best method depends on your preference and the size of your turkey. Experiment with each option to find the one that works best for you.

Cooking Techniques To Ensure Moist, Tender Turkey

Tying turkey legs together may seem like a necessary step in achieving a moist, tender turkey, but it’s actually just a myth. Other cooking techniques can also produce a juicy bird without the hassle of tying. Factors that affect juiciness include cooking time and temperature, the use of a brine or marinade, and basting.

Cooking the turkey to the correct temperature is crucial. A brine or marinade can also add moisture and flavor to the meat. Basting can help keep the bird moist, but too much can result in a dry, overcooked turkey. So, skip the leg tying and use these alternative techniques to make a perfectly moist and tender turkey.

Tips And Tricks For Perfectly Cooked Thanksgiving Turkey

Tying turkey legs together has been a tradition passed down through generations. However, it’s completely unnecessary and doesn’t make a difference in terms of the turkey’s cooking process. To achieve a moist and flavorful turkey, instead focus on the internal temperature, which should be 165 degrees fahrenheit.

For a 12-14 pound turkey, roast for approximately 3-3. 5 hours. Consider brining the turkey beforehand or rubbing it with butter and herbs for added flavor. A delicious stuffing recipe is to mix in sausage, apples, and sage. When it comes to carving the turkey, remove the legs and wings first, then carefully slice the breast meat.

Follow these tips and tricks for a perfectly cooked thanksgiving turkey that will impress your guests.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Do You Have To Tie Turkey Legs Together

Should I Tie Turkey Legs Together Before Cooking?

No, it’s not necessary to tie turkey legs together before cooking. As long as you place the turkey on the roasting rack correctly, the legs will stay in place during cooking. However, tying the legs can give the turkey a neater appearance.

What Is The Benefit Of Tying Turkey Legs Together?

Tying turkey legs together can help the turkey cook evenly and keep its shape during the cooking process. It can also give the turkey a more put-together appearance when serving, which can make it more visually appealing.

How Do I Tie Turkey Legs Together?

To tie turkey legs together, cut a piece of kitchen twine about 24 inches long and wrap it around the legs’ joint twice. Then, tie the twine tightly and knot it to keep the legs in place. Trim any excess twine.

This process should be done before seasoning and roasting the turkey.

Can I Use Something Other Than Kitchen Twine To Tie Turkey Legs Together?

Yes. If you don’t have kitchen twine, you can use cotton string or even unwaxed dental floss. Just make sure that whatever you use is food-safe and can withstand the heat of roasting.

Do I Need To Remove Kitchen Twine Before Serving The Turkey?

Yes. Before serving the turkey, remove the kitchen twine carefully. A pair of kitchen scissors should make the process easier. Be sure to remove the twine from both legs before carving the turkey.


Tying turkey legs together is a popular cooking technique that helps in even cooking and enhances the presentation of the dish. However, it is not necessary to tie turkey legs together. You can still achieve a moist, juicy and evenly cooked turkey by using the right cooking method.

Whether you choose to tie the legs or not, always ensure that the turkey is cooked to the right internal temperature. Using a meat thermometer is therefore essential to avoid undercooked or overcooked turkey. Overall, the key to excellent turkey lies in the cooking method and not necessarily in tying the legs together.

Experiment with different cooking techniques and find what works for you and your family. Happy cooking!

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