Thanksgiving is a week away. Get your questions answered here.
CAN I DEFROST THE TURKEY AT ROOM TEMPERATURE? NO.
- Keep the turkey in its original wrapper.
- Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.
- NOTE: A thawed turkey can stay in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before baking.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO THAW A TURKEY?
- Check the label for the weight of your turkey and use the chart below to thaw in the refrigerator for the correct amount of time.
SHOULD I WASH THE TURKEY? NO.
- Do not wash the turkey. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.
HOW DO I ROAST THE TURKEY?
- Set your oven temperature no lower than 325°F.
- Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
- A whole turkey or turkey breast should be cooked to 165°F. To check for doneness, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh without touching the bone or into the thickest part of the breast.
- For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook stuffing separately.
DO I REALLY NEED TO USE A THERMOMETER? YES.
Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
CAN I NIBBLE ON LEFTOVERS? MAYBE.
- Discard any food left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
- Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
- Use refrigerated leftovers within 3 to 4 days.
- Reheat leftovers to 165°F using a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- To keep the meat moist, add a little broth or water and cover.
For More Information
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: (888) 674-6854