On the Thanksgiving holiday, many people will gather around the table and enjoy a feast of stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and of course, turkey.
According to the National Turkey Federation, 46 million turkeys will be eaten this Thanksgiving.
A few local experts took some time to answer some questions about how to best prepare a Thanksgiving bird. They include Cindy Styer, family nutrition program assistant with the Ohio State University Extension office in Marietta; Dagmar Kupsche, an owner of The Cook's Shop in Marietta; and Yancy Roush, owner of the locally based Yancy's Five Star Catering.
How should a frozen turkey
be thawed out?
If you go:
What: Turkey cooking classes.
When and where: 1:30 p.m. Monday, Marietta Library, 615 5th St., Marietta; 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Beverly Library, McIntosh Street, Beverly.
For information, call the Ohio State University Extension office in Marietta at 376-7431.
Turkey tip lines
- Butterball: (800) BUTTERBALL
- USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: (800) 535-4555
- Perdue: (800) 4PERDUE
- Ocean Spray Consumer Helpline: (800) 662-3263
- Crisco Pie Hotline: (877) 367-7438
- Betty Crocker (888) ASKBETTY
Styer: When you're thawing your turkey, you need one day for every four or five pounds in the refrigerator. You can thaw it in cold water if you keep the turkey completely immersed in cold water and you have to change the water every 30 minutes.
How long does it take to
cook a turkey?
Roush: If you're deep frying them, it's three to four minutes a pound, so if you have a 10-pound turkey and you're deep frying it, it would take 30 minutes. If you're doing it in an oven at 350 degrees, you're looking at about nine to 10 minutes per pound.
How should a turkey's
temperature be checked?
Styer: We need to check the thickest part of the meat in the breast, the wing and thigh, not touching the bones, and it needs to be up to 165 degrees.
Should a turkey be basted and what is the
best way to do that?
Roush: You would take melted butter and season that with salt, pepper, garlic and sage and put that mix all over the outside of the turkey, under the skin and inject it into the meat. When you're basting, you can use the natural stock you have in the bottom of the pan (some of the butter mix, water, celery, carrots and onion). Every 15 to 20 minutes, you'll pull the pan out, take the baster and get some of the nice stock in the bottom of the pan and put that over top your bird and that's proper basting. That will keep the moisture on it and helps the browning procedure.
What should a person keep
in mind when stuffing a
Roush: If you stuff the inside of a turkey, the temperature on the inside of that stuffing has to be 160 degrees because of the bacteria in the turkey. The complication with that is that for the inside of the stuffing to be 160 degrees, you're taking the outside of the meat to 180 degrees.
You can roast the turkey and bring it to 160 and then bake the stuffing off to the side in another pan, then you'll put it into the cavity and coming out of the cavity as a garnish and it appears you made a stuffed turkey.
Do you have any tips related to the preparation of popular Thanksgiving side items?
Kupsche: Adding another dimension to the normal stuffing is adding dried cranberry to it or diced apples.
Roush: You should have 90 percent of your meal prepared the day before. If I was going to do sweet potato casserole for my family, I would make it a day in advance. It's like chili - chili is better the next day, so is sweet potato casserole.
Styer: If you've got something you're fixing that isn't real popular, you don't have to fix it. If there's only one person that does the cranberry stuff, don't fix it.