Thanksgiving is on the way to a dining table near you, and it’s let’s talk Thanksgiving turkey time. I refer to Thanksgiving as the first leg of the holiday season which makes me think about turkey legs, which gets me to thinking about the Thanksgiving turkey plan, prep, roast, baste, carve and serve part of Thanksgiving day.
Tips, tools, thawing and time is a big consideration in regards to buying, thawing, prepping, stuffing, roasting, and serving the bird.
In this pre-Thanksgiving calm before the storm period, I’m utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.
Places In The Home is a design and decorating show and tell, and dining, dishing, and delicious recipes goes with the territory. With that being said, I thought I might offer a few suggestions regarding all things Thanksgiving turkey.
Let’s talk turkey, shall we.
How Much Turkey Do I Need?
From the folks at Delish:
Thawing the Frozen Thanksgiving Turkey
For Refrigerator Thawing:
Place turkey on a tray to eliminate leakage to other areas of refrigerator. Thaw breast side up, in original unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below). Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs.
Suggested thawing time for a frozen turkey:
4 to 12 pound turkey: 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pound turkey: 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pound turkey: 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pound turkey: 5 to 6 days
Cold Water Thawing:
Thaw breast side down, in original unopened wrapper. Cover the turkey completely with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.
4 to 12 pound turkey: 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pound turkey: 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pound turkey: 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pound turkey: 10 to 12 hours
The good people at Butterball offer cooking calculators and conversion charts for everything Thanksgiving turkey.
Who and where do I send a thank you note to?
Here’s the link: Butterball Calculators and Conversions Chart
Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F regular oven:
6 to 10 pounds: 2 to 3 hours (unstuffed) || 2¼-3½ hours (stuffed)
10 to 18 pounds: 3 to 3½ hours (unstuffed) || 3¾-4½ hours (stuffed)
18 to 22 pounds: 3½-4 hours (unstuffed) || 4½ – 5 hours (stuffed)
22-24 pounds: 4-4½ hours (unstuffed) || 5-5½ hours (stuffed)
24-30 pounds: 4½-5 hours (unstuffed) || 5½-6½ hours (stuffed)
Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F convection oven:
6 to 10 pounds: 1½-2 hours (unstuffed) || 1¾-2½ hours (stuffed)
10 to 18 pounds: 2 to 2½ hours (unstuffed) || 2½-3¼ hours (stuffed)
18 to 22 pounds: 2½-3 hours (unstuffed) || 3¼ hours (stuffed)
22-24 pounds: 3-3½ hours (unstuffed) || 3¾-4¼ hours (stuffed)
The turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer reaches 170 °F in breast or stuffing. Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the thickest part of the breast.
If you stuff the Thanksgiving turkey, the center of the stuffing must also reach 170 degrees F. Cross contamination between turkey and stuffing is a concern, so just make sure both turkey and stuffing reach 170 degrees F.
Let the turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.
Safe Turkey Prep, Thawing, Stuffing, Cooking, Clean Up Tips:
Always wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food.
Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, never on the counter.
Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking. It can spread germs to other areas.
Place stuffing in the turkey just before cooking.
Cook raw poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of 170 degrees.
Wash your counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
Don’t feed your pets raw food.
A tablet and/or an Echo calls up Alexa the answer machine, now we’re cooking playlists, recipes, and the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® (connect with the Talk-Line through social media, live chat, texting — even Amazon Alexa).
I’m a fourth generation fan of the granite ware oval roasting pan. Tradition runs deep in the Places In The Home holiday kitchen, and roasting a turkey like my great grandmother, grandmother and mother did/does requires a granite ware oval roaster.
The black graniteware covered roaster speaks holidays to me, but I could be swayed by the Mauviel Mtradition Roaster in copper.
And perhaps the Cuisinart 8-Piece Roasting Set.
Time saving multitasking marvels of kitchen efficiency are my kind of holiday helping hand! Equally as important as the well-stocked holiday pantry is the well organized holiday baking, cooking and entertaining kitchen prep area and items used to create, delight, and store delicious dishes fit for the holiday table.
Don’t forget to tie those bad boy turkey legs together with cooking twine.
A cook is only as good as the kitchen and cooking tips, essentials, tools and accessories he or she uses.
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