Turkey tips for great Thanksgiving - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Turkey tips for great Thanksgiving

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November 26, 2002

Albany - Thanksgiving is just two days away. If you're planning to buy a frozen turkey, you better start thawing now. There are some do's and don'ts to preparing the perfect bird. Leesburg resident, Ellen Pelham, says, "Everyone has their own recipe for their turkeys." But, you should all have the same recipe for safety.

Let's start with thawing your frozen bird. Dougherty County Extension Agent, Mandel Smith explains, "You can thaw out your turkey in the refrigerator, that's the best way. Or in cold water, but change water every 30 minutes. If you use the microwave method, cook that turkey immediately. Don't put in refrigerator and take it out later."

Never thaw out a turkey at room temperature. Smith warns, "Salmonella can multiply and double every 20 minutes."

A turkey is done at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Pelham says, "I like to make sure it's fully cooked, pop-up timers and use a meat thermometer."

Smith says you should throw away turkey leftovers two days after cooking. Take leftover meat off the bone, put in a shallow container and into the refrigerator, within two hours after dinner. Others get rid of extras the day of Thanksgiving. Pelham laughs, "I send them home to family and then they're gone."

As long as you gobble up these tips, you can avoid getting a tummy ache turkey day.

Also be sure to keep your hands and kitchen counters clean while cooking to reduce spreading bacteria, like Salmonella.

How to roast a turkey--

Place turkey breast up on rack in a shallow pan. Brush with margarine. A tent of aluminum foil placed loosely over the turkey will eliminate the need to baste the turkey. Remove the foil, the last half-hour, for final browning. Cook at 325 degrees.

Source: UGA Cooperative Extension Service

Chart for Roasting--

Pounds

Cooking time, hours

6

2.5

8

3

12

4

16

5

20

6

posted at 5:30PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com