Thanksgiving cooking does not have to be stressful.
With a few simple touches, a great turkey will serve as the cornerstone of a pleasing and sleep-inducing meal.
’s Registered Dietitian Shari Steinbach put together advice and a few techniques to make a Thanksgiving turkey safely and with a lot flavor. The bird can induce a great Tryptophan coma among all of your relatives, including the ones you like.
Buy the Right Size Turkey
- People will need 1 pound of uncooked turkey for every guest. Add another half pound if you want leftovers.
Proper Cooking Time
- Steinbach suggests cooking an unstuffed turkey for 12-15 minutes per pound, and a stuffed turkey for 18-20 minutes per pound
Turkey Thawing and Safety Tips
- It’s a food safety risk to thaw a turkey at room temperature on the kitchen counter
- Put frozen, wrapped turkey on a baking sheet in your refrigerator
- For every 4-5 lbs., allow 24 hours of thawing time
- If pinched for time, submerge the frozen, wrapped turkey in cold water (30 minutes per pound)
Safety Tip – Proper Temperature to Cook a Turkey
- Steinbach says that when the temperature in the thigh is about 180 degrees, it’s done
- If the bird is stuffed, insert thermometer into the middle of the stuffing and wait for it to reach 160 degrees
- Let a cooked turkey sit for about 40 minutes before carving it
Optional Ways to Prepare a Turkey
- Steinbach suggested other ways to cook a turkey such as deep frying or basting. She recommends using a smaller sized turkey for deep-frying
- Another way to make a great turkey is to brine the bird before roasting. Place the whole turkey into a salt water mixture made with one cup of salt to one gallon of water, and let the bird sit in the water for at least 12 hours before roasting