5 tips for cooking your Thanksgiving turkey

Well, remember, raw turkey is gross. It can make you sick. Take precautions.

It’s offically almost turkey time! Thanksgiving means family, friends, and, of course, a turkey. (Let’s face it, we all know the turkey’s the guest of honor in this situation.) But the thing is that raw turkey is icky. It’s so icky that it can make people sick if it’s not cooked right. Anyways, avoid the puke with these tips.

1. Thaw the turkey safely.

Don’t just slap the bird on the counter and think you’re good to go. The turkey should be thawed in the refrigerator, in the microwave as per the manufacturer’s instructions, or in cold water that’s changed AT LEAST every half-hour. Bacteria (gross germy things) really like the temperatures between 40˚F and 140˚F…so don’t leave your turkey at those temperatures.

2. Handle the turkey properly.

Well, don’t drop it, for starters.

What we really mean is that you shouldn’t let the raw turkey come into contact with anything you can’t thoroughly clean. Keep it away from the other food and make sure to SUPER wash anything the poultry touches – including cooking utensils.

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3. Avoid stuffing woes.

If you’re cooking stuffing, you might want to cook it separately and not put it in the bird. It might be best just to cook it in a casserole dish (and make sure that it reaches a safe temperature of 165˚F). If you cook it in the bird, it might not cook all the way, and then icky stuff can get in it. If you insist on cooking it in the bird, leave the stuffing in the turkey for at least 20 minutes after removing it from the cavity so it can cook a little more. And again – make sure it reaches a safe temperature with a food thermometer.

4.  Cooking time.

Set the oven to at least 325˚F. Cook the fully thawed turkey in a pan that is 2 – 2.5 inches deep, breast-side up. The time it needs to cook depends on the weight of the bird. Be sure to check the temperature at the center of the turkey (or the stuffing, if you’ve put it in the bird) and the thickest parts of the thigh, breast, and wing joints. That bird needs to be at least 165˚F.

5. Store leftovers safely.

Make sure you wrap up all the leftovers and refrigerate them at a temperature below 40˚ within 2 hours of preparing the food.

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So, yeah, let’s not have food poisoning this Thanksgiving! Best of luck with your turkey-filled endeavors. Also, if you need home insurance, we can help! Message us on LiveChat to get started with your quotes.



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