Most Useful Turkey Tips

A ten pound turkey will feed about seven people and take about eight cups of stuffing. A fifteen pound turkey will feed about ten people and require about twelve cups of stuffing. A twenty pound turkey will feed about thirteen adults and require 15 cups of stuffing to fill the cavities.

To thaw a turkey in the refrigerator, it will take about 24 hours for every five pounds. For the water bath method of thawing, make sure the turkey is in a sealed bag and place it in cold water. Change the cold water every 30 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes for every pound of turkey to thaw.

For safety, be sure to wash carefully with soap and hot water everything that touches the raw turkey, and wash anything that has touched anything that touched the raw turkey. Do not, for instance, touch other areas or items when you have just touched the raw turkey.

At 325 degrees Fahrenheit you will need to cook a 10-15 pound turkey from 3 3/4 to 4 ½ hours, and a 20 pound turkey from 4 ½ to 5 hours. Your supper should be served a half hour after that to give the turkey a chance to rest and you a chance to make gravy and put the food on the table. If you like, you can count backwards from the time you wish to serve to get an idea when you should begin. If you wish to serve at 3 p.m., for example, the turkey should be out of the oven by 2:30. If it is a 15 pound turkey, it should go into the oven at 10 a.m., and you will probably need an hour to prepare the stuffing and stuff the bird, so you should begin at 9 a.m.

If you are able to use a meat thermometer, insert it to the thickest part of the thigh near the breast, but avoid touching the bone. The thermometer should be 180 degrees when the turkey is done.

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