For rookie Thanksgiving cooks, expert tips to avoid disaster

For rookie Thanksgiving cooks, expert tips to avoid disaster

11/22/2020 11:14:00 PM

For rookie Thanksgiving cooks, expert tips to avoid disaster

With health officials urging Americans to limit Thanksgiving gatherings, food experts say nervous rookie cooks can avoid disaster by following a few rules.

Since it takes a day of thawing for every 4 to 5 pounds, that could add up to several days depending on the turkey's size. Otherwise, sticking a frozen turkey in the oven could result in a bird that looks nicely browned, but is still cold inside.“You’ll basically have a turkey popsicle that maybe looks good, but it’s not going to be cooked,” said Frank Proto at the Institute of Culinary Education inNew York.

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Nov. 20, 202005:45Once the bird is thawed, experts say to resist any instincts to rinse it before cooking, which could end up splattering germs around. Thoroughly cooking should kill any germs on the turkey.Making sure the bird is properly cooked — it should be 165 degrees at the thickest part — also means using a meat thermometer. Contrary to the advice many offered to Hughey, experts aren't fans of the pop-up thermometers that come stuck in some birds.

“Those are not always effective in determining the temperature,” said Angela Shaw, a specialist at the Iowa State University's food safety extension.Though there’s debate about it, Shaw also recommends cooking the stuffing outside the turkey. Otherwise, she said it could pick up bacteria from the bird. Getting the stuffing hot enough to kill any germs could mean burning or drying out the turkey, she said.

Nov. 18, 202002:33Temperature control can be a problem even after everyone is done eating; experts say to refrigerate leftovers within two hours, since bacteria can grow quickly on food that's left out.A dry, overcooked bird is the main worry for Celeste Molina, who’s staying home with her partner and their roommates instead of spending it with family because of the pandemic. Molina, who works at a screen printing firm in Portland, Oregon, knows how badly first attempts can go; years ago, her aunt ended up burning the Thanksgiving bird.

“We got to her house and she’s like, ‘I’m just going to order you guys McDonald’s,'" she said.Molina isn’t worried about her first turkey, but just in case, she and her partner plan to buy a chicken to roast alongside it.Nov. 20, 202004:58Lori DeSanti, a real estate agent in Meriden, Connecticut, will also be making turkey with her husband for the first time, instead of going to her dad’s or relative’s home.

DeSanti isn’t that concerned about the turkey — she’s never been a huge fan — and is focusing on pulling off a stuffing recipe.“That’s what I’m more worried about ruining,” she said. Read more: »

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My tip, make sure turkey is thawed and take out bag of giblets. Cooking turkey for 6 hrs at 200 degrees does NOT cook the turkey. 😁 Take out.