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You’ve bought your turkey, prepared the brine, and made a game plan for how it’ll be cooked—baked or roasted, that part is up to you. When all’s said and done, the fundamental basics are (relatively) easy to plan but, there is one detail that is often overlooked: the practice of tucking in the turkey legs. You know, the step all the chefs on TV seamlessly complete—tucking and tying in one no-fail swoop. Turns out, the secret to the best-tasting bird is giving it attention before it heads to the oven. So we turned to culinary consultant Rick Rodgers, to get the scoop on making the most of your turkey prep.

The Basics

It may sound tricky and maybe even a little odd. Tucking the wings will make it much easier to handle the bird and gives you a picture–perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Before you begin, make sure that the inside of the turkey has been thoroughly cleaned out and rinsed. If you’ll be adding stuffing or any accoutrements to the bird, now’s the time. Once that is complete, you’re ready to prep the bird for the oven.

To tuck the wings, simply take a loop of kitchen string or twine and tie the wings to the side. Unwaxed plain dental floss will also work in a pinch!

If the wings are too short to be tied, Rodgers suggests tucking the wing tips into the shoulders of the bird. This allows for a more even cooking and prevents the wings from burning.

Cook the bird according to your recipe and enjoy!

Discover more ways to make the most of your Thanksgiving feast:

16 Questions to Ask Before You Host Friendsgiving Fresh and Colorful Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Table Thanksgiving Staples and Their Healthy Alternatives

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