As you all prepare for a great time with family, watching NFL games, make sure you give food safety a minute!
Buying Turkeys (I hope that this is done!)
- Buy your turkey only 1 to 2 days before you plan to cook it.
- Keep it stored at 41°F or below until you’re ready to cook it. Place it on a tray to catch juices.
- Do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys.
- Keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it. Start today – if you haven’t…
- Turkeys can be kept frozen in the freezer indefinitely; however, cook within 1 year for best quality.
Thawing Your Turkey
There are three ways to thaw your turkey safely — in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven.
- In refrigerator. 24 hours per 5 lbs. Can be refrozen if needed.
- In cold running water. 30 minutes per lb. Wrap it securely. Submerge the package. Change water frequently. Cook immediately. Do not refreeze.
- In microwave oven. Check the size and oven instructions. Cook immediately. Do not refreeze or refrigerate.
- Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.
Roasting Your Turkey (325 °F oven temperature)
- Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
- Stuffing a turkey is not recommended. Recommended: cook stuffing outside in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing – safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
- If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate.
- A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °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.
- For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.
Timetable for Roasting your Turkey
(325 °F oven temperature)
Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.
- 4 to 8 lbs (90 minutes to 190 minutes)
- 8 to 12 lbs (160 to 180 minutes)
- 12 to 14 lbs (180 to 220 minutes)
- 14 to 18 lbs (220 to 250 minutes).
- 6 to 8 lbs (150 to 210 minutes)
- 8 to 12 lbs (180 to 210 minutes)
- 12 to 14 lbs (150 to 240 minutes)
- 14 to 18 lbs (240 to 270 minutes).
- It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey.
- Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking.
- If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 ½ hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter.
- For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 °F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product.
REMEMBER! Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.
Storing Your Leftover Turkey
- Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hrs; 1 hr in temperatures above 90 °F.
- Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
- Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
- If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.
Reheating Your Turkey
- Cooked turkey may be eaten cold or reheated.
- Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- Cover your food and rotate it for even heating if using a microwave. Allow standing time.
Dont be a turkey and make your family suffer….