Holiday Kitchen Chatting Thanksgiving Turkey, Tools, and Tips

Thanksgiving is on the way to a holiday dining table near you, and today we’re holiday kitchen chatting Thanksgiving turkey, tools, and tips.

gorgeous turkey

Better Homes & Gardens

In this pre-Thanksgiving calm before the holiday prep, cook, and serve storm, I’m utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.

Thanksgiving turkeyHerb, Lemon, and Garlic Turkey

How big of a bird will I actually need?

How do I properly defrost the thing?

How long do I cook a Thanksgiving turkey?

To stuff, or not to stuff, that is the question.

You’ve got questions, and this blog post has got answers.

Let’s talk turkey.

From the folks at Delish:

How much turkey do you need?

how-much-turkey-to-you-need-chart

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 pound.

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.

Here’s the link: Butterball Calculators and Conversions Chart

The Amazon 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).

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Alexa-enabled Bluetooth Speaker

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Alexa-enabled Bluetooth Speaker

Prep the bird and don’t forget to tie those bad boy turkey legs together with cooking twine.

Taylor Kitchen Twine

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.   

Cuisinart Wireless Meat ThermometerCuisinart Wireless Meat Thermometer 

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. 

Tools and Tips

Kitchen tools that get the job done are just one part of the turkey buying, thawing, prepping, and roasting are essential.

graniteware-oval-roaster-black

Graniteware Oval Roaster

The black graniteware covered roaster speaks holidays to me, but I’m always open to a new trad roasting pan that gets the Thanksgiving turkey roasted to perfection.

Nordic Ware Copper Roaster XL Large

Nordic Ware Copper Roaster XL Large

Cuisinart 8 piece roasting set

Cuisinart 8-Piece Roasting Set

As I source and suggest I just ordered the Cooks 5-qt. Stainless Steel Everything Pan with Gold Finish Handles.

Great look with a great price.

Cooks 5-qt. Stainless Steel Everything Pan with Gold Finish HandlesCooks 5-qt. Stainless Steel Everything Pan with Gold Finish Handles

Oster 18qt Roaster Oven Black CKSTRS18-BSBOster 18qt Roaster Oven Black CKSTRS18-BSB

Time saving culinary companion pieces aka time-saving kitchen tools and gadgets qualify in my recipe book as a sous chef.

Things can get mighty hectic in the holiday kitchen, and a cook is only as good as the kitchen gadgets, tools and accessories he or she uses.

Emile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie DishEmile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie Dish

Anchor Hocking Laurel 9.5" Rosewater Pie PanAnchor Hocking Laurel 9.5″ Rosewater Pie Pan

Historic-Farmhouse-Litchfield-Shines-After-Brightening-Restoration-cupboard

Connecticut Cottages & Gardens

A well-stocked and organized holiday pantry becomes the star of the kitchen show everyday of the week, but it’s especially popular at holiday hosting time.

pantry-storage-containers Lock & Lock canisters from QVC are my go-to storage containers to store sweet potato puree to cornbread to chocolate walnut fudge.

Lock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage SetLock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage Set

 

Aluminum Bundt PanAluminum Bundt Pan

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Choose dishes and recipes you’ve met and mastered to prevent a cooking-baking meltdown.

If your dying to try that new dish you saw in a cookbook, on social media, or on a cooking show, prepare it a week or so out to get the hang of it.

Nordic Ware Autumn Wreath Bundt® Pan

BakerEze 6 Pc Copper Nonstick Bakeware Set, Muffin Cake & Cookie Pans

BakerEze 6 Pc Copper Nonstick Bakeware Set, Muffin Cake & Cookie Pans

 

Lodge 7 Quart Oval Dutch Oven - Oyster WhiteLodge 7 Quart Oval Dutch Oven – Oyster White

Pots, pans, Dutch ovens, and cocottes with high performance cook and serve capability add a kick to your kitchen style.

Staub Ceramic 16-oz Petite Artichoke Cocotte - BasilStaub Ceramic 16-oz Petite Artichoke Cocotte – Basil

 

Lodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch OvenLodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Take an inventory of the dishes that have to be cooked on Thanksgiving day and the total prep to stove to oven to table time.

Allow ten extra minutes per recipe to help rule out any issues.

Circulon Elementum Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Straining Saucepan, 3-Quart, Oyster GrayCirculon Elementum Nonstick Covered Straining 3-Quart Saucepan

silicone-spatula-set

Plymouth Silicone Spatula Set

Select by Calphalon 12" Cast Iron Round Skillet

Select by Calphalon 12″ Cast Iron Round Skillet

Instant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure CookerInstant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

The Pioneer Woman Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 Frontier Rose 6-Quart Programable Multi-CookerThe Pioneer Woman Instant Pot 6-Quart Programmable Multi-Cooker

Corningware 12 Piece Mixed Bakeware SetCorningware 12 Piece Mixed Bakeware Set

copper measuring cups

Thyme & Table 4-Piece Copper Measuring Cup Set

Thyme & Table 4-Piece Copper Measuring Cup Set

Carbon Loft Owen Rolling Kitchen IslandCarbon Loft Owen Rolling Kitchen Island

Denmark 4-Piece Ceramic Mixing Bowl Set in GreyDenmark 4-Piece Ceramic Mixing Bowl Set in Grey

mixing-bowls-hobnailTabletops Gallery Hobnail 4-pc. Mixing Bowl Set

 

red-kitchen-aid-mixer

KitchenAid Ultra Power 5-Speed Hand Mixer

 

Wilton Bake It Better Non-Stick Baking Pan Set, 3-PieceWilton Bake It Better Non-Stick Baking Pan Set, 3-Piece

Wilton Bake It Better Copper Oven Crisper BasketWilton Bake It Better Copper Oven Crisper Basket

Sing it with me, friends.

♫ I can mash potato, I can mash potato ♫

Starfrit Rotato Express Electric PeelerStarfrit Rotato Express Electric Peeler

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Mashed potatoes will stay warm for an hour or so in a slow cooker set to low.

Emeril Lagasse Balloon whisk

Emeril Lagasse, Stainless Steel, Heavy Duty 11 inch, Balloon Whisk

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

If you slightly scorch the gravy, don’t panic.

Add 1 teaspoon of smooth peanut butter until the burnt flavor is gone.

You may need to add more peanut butter.  Do so 1 teaspoon at a time.

Aladdin Heritage Vacuum Bottle 24oz, PlaidAladdin Heritage Vacuum Bottle 24oz, Plaid

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Use a vacuum bottle (Thermos) to keep the gravy warm and free up another stove burner.  

BLACK+DECKER ComfortGrip 9 Inch Electric KnifeBLACK+DECKER  9 Inch Electric Knife

 

Thyme & Table Gold Chef Knife Set, 3 PieceThyme & Table Gold Chef Knife Set, 3 Piece

open-refrigerator-House-BeautifulHouse Beautiful

Holiday in the Kitchen tip:

Cut up vegetables such as green onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and root vegetables ahead of time and store in the refrigerator in air tight containers.

Farberware 12 Inch by 18 Inch Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting BoardFarberware Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting Board

 

Godinger 5-Pc. Hammered Copper Storage Bowl SetGodinger 5-Pc. Hammered Copper Storage Bowl Set

The countdown to Thanksgiving turkey times is on, here’s hoping this in the holiday kitchen chat offers the information and source suggestions  needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.

Relax.

Turn up the music.

Enjoy the day!

Love your style!

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