Cooking a Turkey 101

Eventually, everyone gets a turn to cook a turkey. 

For some, turkey cooking has become a tradition, something done year after year for family and friends. People ask for that special turkey recipe or compliment its flavor. 

For others, this may be the first year to cook that holiday centerpiece. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that one of the easiest ways to cook a turkey is to roast it. If cooks want to prepare a traditional stuffed roasted turkey, prepare the stuffing, stuff the turkey, and then put the turkey in the oven. Or you can simply put the turkey in without stuffing. Pop it in a roasting pan in an oven heated to 325 degrees F and check on it in two hours. When the food thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and the thickest part of the breast, that’s when the turkey is ready to come out of the oven. If the turkey was stuffed, remove the stuffing immediately and cover to retain heat. After the turkey rests for 15 to 20 minutes, it’s ready to carve. 

If you have leftovers, carve the rest of the turkey and refrigerate immediately for leftovers. The turkey needs to be refrigerated within two hours of coming out of the oven to ensure safety. Leftovers need to be eaten within four days or frozen.  

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