Thanksgiving: What to do the day of

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:45:48 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 18 2013 04:02:00 PM EST

Read up: Thanksgiving: What you need to know before the big meal

Cooking: A whole turkey must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F throughout the bird. Always use a food thermometer to check for doneness.

It's recommended that stuffing be cooked outside the turkey, however if you choose to stuff your turkey, be sure that the center of the stuffing reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing the stuffing and carving the turkey.

It's recommended that you cover turkey breast with foil while cooking to retain moisture (uncover the last 45 minutes to 1 hour to brown turkey breast).

For a fresh or thawed turkey roast at 325°F to 350°F approximately 12-15 minutes per pound unstuffed, or 18-20 minutes per pound stuffed. Fresh turkeys may cook more quickly (10-12 minutes per pound unstuffed) than defrosted turkeys.

When will it be done?
2 to 3 pound half breast?50 minutes to 1 hour
4 to 6 pound whole breast?1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hours
6 to 8 pound whole breast2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hours if unstuffed; 3 to 3 1/2 hours if stuffed
8 to 12 pound whole turkey2 3/4 to 3 hours if unstuffed; 3 to 3 1/2 hours if stuffed
12 to 14 pound whole turkey3 to 3 3/4 hours if unstuffed; 3 1/2 to 4 hours if stuffed
14 to 18 pound whole turkey3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours if unstuffed; 4 to 4 1/4 hours if stuffed
18 to 20 pound whole turkey4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours if unstuffed; 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours if stuffed
20 to 24 pound whole turkey4 1/2 to 5 hours if unstuffed; 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours if stuffed

Don't leave leftover food out for grazing – bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature and can make your leftovers unsafe for eating the next day.

Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving.

Click here to view recipes.

Read next: Thanksgiving: The day after


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