Holiday 2009 Turkey Cooking Tips

Christmas dinnerIf you are making turkey for Christmas you may have some questions about the best way to handle and cook it. Below are some tips from Whole Foods Market that can help make your holiday meal the best it can be.

  1. Refrigerate a fresh turkey immediately.
  2. Remove a turkey from the refrigerator about an hour before placing it in the oven.
  3. Don’t stuff the bird! It’s best to cook the stuffing and the bird separately and stuff once both are fully cooked. his method reduces baking time as well.
  4. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.
  5. Allow bird to rest (covered) for about 20 minutes after cooking. This redistributes the juices and makes for smooth carving.

Tools to have on hand:

  • Heavy duty roasting pan with rack to keep the turkey from resting on the bottom of your pan.
  • Trussing string to tie the turkey legs together.
  • Aluminum foil to cover turkey when cooling.
  • Wooden spoon & large metal spoon.
  • Fat separator for a leaner gravy.
  • Basting brush to baste turkey with melted butter, or bulb baster for basting with pan juices.
  • 8-cup measuring cup.
  • Fine sieve for straining pan juices.
  • Wire whisk for making gravy.
  • Good quality carving set.
  • Instant-read meat thermometer.
  • Apron

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