Preface: Safety Tips Before Cooking
- Rule #1: Wash the Bird.
Rinse all poultry and poultry pieces under cool running water, rubbing all surfaces inside and out, to wash away bacteria.
- Rule #2: Avoid Cross-Contamination.
Any surface that comes in contact with raw poultry—knives, cutting boards, counter tops, dish towels, sink, etc.—must be washed with hot soapy water before using again. Bacteria transfers easily from one surface to the next and can result in illness.
- Rule #3: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods
Both cooked and uncooked food should be stored properly and never left at room temperature for extended periods. Bacteria multiply between 40 and 140 degrees F., with the quickest growth happening between 70 and 100 degrees (right around room temperature).
- What size turkey should I buy?
- Is it better to buy one large turkey or two small ones?
- Should I buy fresh or frozen?
- What about turkeys that have been injected with fats and seasonings?
- What about turkey parts and frozen stuffed turkeys?
- How long can a whole turkey be kept frozen?
- How long can a fresh turkey be kept refrigerated?
- Thawing Rules
- Thawing Methods
- Turkey Thawing Charts
- Is it best to cook the stuffing inside the bird, or separately in a baking dish?
- If I do want to stuff the bird, what's the best way to do it?
- How much stuffing do I need?
- Do I need to close up the cavity after it has been stuffed?
- Preparations Step-by-Step
- Stuffing & Trussing
- Do I need to truss the bird's legs, or can I just roast it the extra effort?
- Roasting Step-by-Step
- How do I keep the breast meat moist when cooking?
- Use a Meat Thermometer
- My turkey comes with a plastic pop-up timer. Can't I use that instead?
- How accurate are "recommended cooking times"?
- How can I tell when the turkey is done?
- USDA Timetable for Turkey Roasted at 325 degrees F.
- Rules for Making Gravy
- Making the Basic Gravy
- Additions to Gravy
- Basic Carving steps
- Removing the Thigh, Drumstick & Wings
- Carving the breast
- Storing leftovers
- Reheating leftovers
- Back to Thanksgiving Headquarters
This page modified November 2006