Timely Tips for Terrific Turkey AS YOU PLAN your holiday feast, keep in mind these helpful hints from our test kitchen:
. When buying a bird, purchase 3/4 to 1 pound per person for whole turkeys that weigh 6 to 12 pounds. For larger whole turkeys (over 12 pounds), purchase 1/2 to 3/4 pound per person.
. The best way to thaw a frozen turkey is to place it breast side up in the refrigerator in its unopened wrapper for 2 to 3 days.
. Be sure to remove neck and giblets from the body and neck cavities before stuffing. Always stuff a turkey just before baking.
. An unstuffed turkey cooks more quickly than a stuffed one. If short on time, bake stuffing separately.
. Roast turkey at a temperature of 325 degrees or higher, basting occasionally to keep skin moist.
. If the dark meat has reached 180 degrees and the stuffing has not reached 165 degrees, scoop stuffing into a greased baking dish and continue to bake while the turkey stands before carving.
. Tying or trussing a turkey keeps the stuffing in place and produces a more rounded, beautiful result. Some turkeys come with the legs held together by a metal clip, which serves the same purpose as trussing.
. Letting the turkey stand before carving allows the meat to firm up and the slices to hold together better.
. Remove stuffing and carve the meat off the bones within 2 hours of roasting. Leftover turkey stored in the refrigerator should be used within 3 days. Properly wrapped or placed in a freezer container, cooked turkey will keep for 2 months in the freezer.
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