Monday, November 25

Safe Holiday Eating

by Taylor Hughes

As we approach the holiday, it is important to make sure you know all the safety precautions for the food you plan to prepare.

Turkey Prep
There are three safe ways to thaw food: refrigerate, submerge in cold water, and microwave.

You must plan ahead if you are going to thaw your turkey in the fridge. Allow for approximately 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds.

Submerging the turkey in cold water takes less time, however, you must change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is completely thawed.

Cold water thawing times:
4-12 pounds: 2-6 hours
12-16 pounds: 6-8 hours
20-24 pounds: 10-12 hours

For microwave thawing, follow the microwave’s instruction for defrosting. You must cook it immediately after it’s been thawed because it may become partially cooked.

Cooking Tips
Stuffing 101: For optimal safety, it is best to cook the stuffing separately. If you want cook your stuffing inside the turkey, be sure to place stuffing inside turkey just before cooking and make sure that it reaches a temperature of 165°.

Turkeys must be cooked in the oven at a temperature of at least 325°. Place the thawed turkey breast-side up in a roasting pan 2-2.5 inches deep. The internal temperature of the turkey must reach 165°.

Roasting times:
4-6 pounds: 1 ½ - 2 ¼ hours
6-8 pounds: 2 ¼ -3 ¼ hours
8-12 pounds: 2 ¾ - 3 hours
12-14 pounds: 3- 3 ¾ hours
18-20 pounds: 4 ¼ -4 ½ hours

20-24 pounds: 4 ½ -5 hours

Here's wishing you a happy, and healthy, Thanksgiving Day.

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