It's hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner!
In just a few days' time, the smell of fresh apple pie and homemade cranberry chutney will be pervading from room to room, while marshmallows and sweet potatoes bronze in the oven. But at the center of it all, of course, is the Thanksgiving turkey, and it's a holiday staple that is as easy as it is quick to ruin.
No matter if it's your first time hosting Thanksgiving or your 50th, there's a lot that goes into cooking a flawless bird, from the thaw time to the size. These tips from Butterball's Talk-Line experts can ensure your holiday feast goes off without a hitch.
Tip #1: How to choose the right turkey
Choosing a fresh or frozen turkey depends largely on preference, but also on how soon you plan on cooking your turkey. Make sure you get the right size turkey for your crowd as well—Butterball recommends 1.5lbs per guest for good portion sizes and leftovers.
Tip #2: Remember the four T's
Thaw: Thawing in the refrigerator is the recommended method. For every four pounds of turkey, allow at least one day of thawing in the refrigerator. Thursday, Nov. 21st is "Thaw Thursday," so get it out of the refrigerator to make sure your turkey is ready to cook on Thanksgiving Day!
Temperature: Always use a meat thermometer to determine when the turkey is fully cooked. Butterball has an easy-to-follow video to show how to check for doneness if you aren’t sure where to stick your thermometer.
Two-hour-Rule: Store leftovers in separate containers within two hours after cooking.
Three Days to Eat: Eat or freeze leftover turkey within three days.
Tip #3: The right way to stuff a turkey
Learn how to properly stuff a turkey, making sure to use only cooked ingredients and stuffing just before roasting, not in advance. If you stuff your turkey make sure you are also following food safety guidelines and checking for doneness in the stuffing as well.
Tip #4: Food prep 101
Remember Food Prep 101: Practice good food safety procedures and wash hands often. Keep raw turkey and ready to-eat-food separate. Cook foods to proper temperatures to get a safe, tender and juice turkey.
Tip #5: Carving
Review the proper steps to carve a turkey before getting started—and don’t feel pressured to do it in front of everyone!
Tip #6: Don't be afraid to ask for help
When in doubt, call 1-800-Butterball to connect to the experts at the Talk-Line for the best advice!