It’s almost Turkey Day! For all of you who are responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I have some tips for preparing your turkey and using leftovers after Thanksgiving Day.
Food safety is an important thing to think about when you’re preparing your turkey this year. The safest way to thaw your turkey is in the refrigerator. An 8-12 pound frozen turkey takes one to two days to thaw in the refrigerator. A 16-20 pound turkey takes three to four days to thaw in the refrigerator. Be sure to allow enough time to safely thaw your turkey.
Poultry needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, and stuffing should also be cooked to 165°. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of your turkey or stuffing. When you check the temperature, be sure it reaches and holds at 165°F for 15 seconds.
Leftover turkey can make for some wonderful meals after Thanksgiving Day is over. Add shredded turkey to soups or chili in place of chicken. Make turkey potpie or other casseroles. You can freeze turkey in airtight bags or containers for two to six months. Be sure to separate the turkey into small containers before you freeze it so you can use enough for one meal at a time.
Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, and make it’s a good holiday by using good food safety practices!