MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s all about the turkey this week as we count down to Thanksgiving but if you are the one doing the cooking, preparing that giant bird may seem a little overwhelming. However, there’s plenty of help out there including the famous Butterball Turkey Talk Line where experts stand by each holiday season to answer your ever turkey conundrum.
Here Are The Top Five “Make It Better” Tips
• Thawing with Ease: Thawing in the refrigerator is the recommended method. For every four pounds of turkey, allow at least one day of thawing in the refrigerator. However, if your turkey is still frozen and you’re short on time, submerge the turkey in cold water. Leave the turkey in the wrapper, place it in a tub or sink of cold water and allow 30 minutes of thaw time for every pound of turkey.
• Food Prep 101: Practice good food safety procedures: wash hands often; keep raw turkey and ready-to-eat foods separated; cook foods to proper temperatures – the turkey should reach 180° F in the thigh, 170° F in the breast and 165° F in the center of the stuffing; and refrigerate cooked turkey promptly to reduce temperature to below 40° F.
• It’s All About How You Cook It: The Butterball Turkey Talk Line experts recommend the open pan roasting method using a flat rack in a shallow pan so that the turkey cooks evenly and is raised off the bottom of the pan. If you don’t have a flat rack, take a long piece of aluminum foil and crinkle it the long way to create a tube like shape. Then shape the tube of foil into a medium sized circle to place at the bottom of the pan. Place the turkey on this homemade cooking rack – this elevates the turkey, reduces the amount of dishes (just toss the rack in the trash) and cooks the turkey evenly.
• Bites of Wisdom: Recipes don’t have to be trendy or complicated to impress guests. Butterball’s Master Chef Tony Seta suggests taking traditional mashed potatoes and adding simple ingredients – Butterball Turkey Bacon and Asiago cheese – that’ll create a little extra flavor. Don’t anticipate any leftovers!
• Don’t Break the Bank: Start thinking about the meal in advance and look for ways to save. For more information, visit Butterball.com or call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: 1-800-BUTTERBALL.