Thanksgiving is a time that revolves around food, family and friends! Entertaining on Thanksgiving requires planning and organization, and it can be stressful, but preparing food doesn’t have to be. Just keep these helpful tips in mind:
- Purchase a frozen turkey any time in November to avoid last-minute grocery shopping.
- When picking which turkey to buy, keep in mind how many people it will feed. Allow 1lb of uncooked turkey per person. So, a 12lb turkey will feed about 12 guests.
- Thaw frozen turkey in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
- Never rinse a turkey with water before cooking. Bacteria that might be present cannot be washed off with water. Washing the turkey before cooking could potentially spread bacteria to other foods, surfaces or utensils in the kitchen.
- Plan to cook turkey for 20 minutes per pound in a 350°F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10-15 minutes per pound for a fresh turkey.
- Place an aluminum foil tent over the turkey breast during the first 1-1.5 hours of roasting, then remove to allow the turkey to brown.
- Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey to determine when it’s done cooking. The internal temperature should measure 165°F at the innermost part of the thigh, the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the wing.
- Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes after removing from the oven before carving to allow juices to set.
Once the feast is over and the guests have gone home, be sure to pack leftovers properly to enjoy later.
- Leftovers should be stored in shallow containers to reduce air and oxygen exposure.
- Prevent foodborne illness by refrigerating or freezing leftovers within two hours of cooking.
- Enjoy leftover turkey or stuffing stored in the fridge within 3-4 days of cooking.
- Frozen leftover turkey can be kept in the freezer for 3-4 months.
Wondering what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Check out a few recipes perfect for turning Thanksgiving leftovers into post-holiday meals the whole family will love!
- The pasta-bilities are endless with simple, flavorful Turkey Carbonara by Cincinnati food blogger, Foodtastic Mom.
- Creamy Honey-Lime Green Chili Turkey & Egg Enchiladas by Eazy Peazy Mealz aren’t short on protein or flavor! Whip them up for breakfast.
- Give Ohio food blogger Lemons For Lulu‘s Turkey Hash with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts a try! Combine eggs and leftover turkey for a protein-packed breakfast or brunch.
- Leftover turkey and stuffing pair perfectly in Tastes of Lizzy T’s Thanksgiving Leftovers Breakfast Casserole.
- Transform leftovers into a simple, yet amazing, Leftover Thanksgiving Breakfast Sandwich by Columbus food blogger NeighborFood.
Happy Thanksgiving from Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers!