Talking Turkey with Susan Ballerstedt

Affiliate Disclosure

Talking Turkey:

My sweet friend, Susan Ballerstedt, a Pampered Chef consultant, (ballerstedt@insightbb.com) sent me a good summary for preparing turkey in her newsletter last year. See excerpts of her article below, used with permission.

Let’s Talk Turkey!

Fresh or Frozen? Check out these handy tips to help you prepare your holiday bird.

Fresh Turkeys

· Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.

· Buy your turkey only 1 to 2 days before you plan to cook it.

· Keep it stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.

· Do not buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys. If not handled properly, any harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply very quickly.

Frozen Turkeys

· Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.

· Keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it.

· Turkeys can be kept frozen in the freezer indefinitely; however, cook within 1 year for best quality.

· See “Thawing Your Turkey” below for thawing instructions.

Frozen Pre-Stuffed Turkeys

USDA recommends only buying frozen pre-stuffed turkeys that display the USDA or state mark of inspection on the packaging. These turkeys are safe because they have been processed under controlled conditions. DO NOT THAW before cooking. Cook from the frozen state. Follow package directions for proper handling and cooking. Allow 1¼ pounds of turkey per person.

Thawing Your Turkey

Here are two ways to thaw your turkey safely – in the refrigerator or cold water.

In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)

Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds

· 4 to 12 pounds – 1 to 3 days

· 12 to 16 pounds – 3 to 4 days

· 16 to 20 pounds – 4 to 5 days

· 20 to 24 pounds – 5 to 6 days

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak.

In Cold Water

Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound

· 4 to 12 pounds – 2 to 6 hours

· 12 to 16 pounds – 6 to 8 hours

· 16 to 20 pounds – 8 to 10 hours

· 20 to 24 pounds – 10 to 12 hours

Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze thawed turkey.

Want to learn more interesting and easy to make meals?

Back to Basics Cooking Class

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