This post has become an annual posting in hopes it will help keep you and your family safe. Food handling, thawing times, cooking time / temperatures and safe storing of any thanksgiving day food leftovers.
For some this is old information and is considered plain common sense. For others this will be their first time dealing with such a large bird and safely handling so many side dishes for one meal.
Butterball Turkey Talk provides a free service to answer your questions about proper handling, thawing and cooking Turkey.
You can reach them by telephone, email or via live chat line.
Butterball also has a informative page of FAQ’s that you may find useful.
FROZEN WHOLE TURKEY
Thaw in refrigerator (not at room temperature). Place unopened turkey, breast side up, on a tray in refrigerator and follow our refrigerator thawing instructions. Allow at least 24 hours for every 4 pounds.
To thaw more quickly, place unopened turkey breast down in sink filled with cold tap water. Allow 30 minutes per pound. Change water every 30 minutes to keep surface of turkey cold.
When thawed, keep in refrigerator up to 4 days until ready to cook.
United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) has a nice and very informative fact sheet as well as a useful PDF file on the safe handling, cooking, Storage and re-heating of Turkey.
United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey USDA’s information applies to any poultry, Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Goose and so on that you may plan on cooking and serving to your family.
For more information about food safety, call: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Or “Ask Karen,” FSIS’ Web-based automated response system – available 24/7 at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.
Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
|Thawing 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
|4 to 8 pounds (breast)
||1½ to 3¼ hours
|8 to 12 pounds
||2¾ to 3 hours
|12 to 14 pounds
||3 to 3¾ hours
|14 to 18 pounds
||3¾ to 4¼ hours
|18 to 20 pounds
||4¼ to 4½ hours
|20 to 24 pounds
||4½ to 5 hours
United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Alternate methods to cook Turkey / poultry Grilling a Turkey, Covered Gas Grill, Covered Charcoal Grill, Smoking a Turkey, Deep Fat Frying a Turkey.
United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Basics: Safe Cooking Turkey A PDF file. Great 1 page tip sheet on cooking Turkey / Poultry.
United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Turkey Roasting Chart Everything you will ever need to know about Roasting your Turkey.
Reheating Your Turkey
In the Oven
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.
Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.
United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People. Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal Important cooking information to providing Safe food preparation information.
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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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