Turkey 101

Taking on the turkey can be a daunting task, but with a little help from your friends in the Nestle Kitchens, your perfect bird will be comin’ right up without a hitch.

It’s easy to skip the prep and jump straight to recipes (especially if grandma’s standby recipe is not to be messed with!), but following these guidelines will make your shopping, storing, defrosting and roasting a breeze!

What Size Turkey

Figuring Out What Size Turkey to Buy

At Thanksgiving, you want a big enough turkey to leave some leftovers – but not so much that it goes to waste.

As a rule of thumb, plan on 1 pound of unstuffed, whole turkey per person for moderate leftovers. Buying a turkey breast, or a pre-stuffed frozen bird? Get more guidelines to help you plan here!

Storing Turkey

Storing an Uncooked Turkey

Turkey's on sale in July; can you save it until Thanksgiving? How long before the big day can you buy a fresh turkey and be safe?

Always remember to postpone stuffing a turkey until the moment you are ready to roast it. Get the answers and more tips like this here for smooth sailing this Thanksgiving.

Defrost a Turkey

Defrosting a Turkey

Poultry must be thawed completely before cooking for the best results. This can take hours, so planning for this preparation step is important!

Check out these tips and methods to help get your bird on the table just in time, from the traditional refrigerator method to ways to speed it up if you hit crunch time.

Roasting Meat

Browning & Roasting Meat

Roasting is used for large, tender cuts of meat – and whole poultry, like turkey, roast well. The technique involves little more than browning the outside (if you can) and placing the roast in a hot oven!

For instance, as a general rule, don't cover the meat; you don't want it to steam in its own juices. If, however, you're cooking a large roast or turkey and it browns too quickly, you can cover the browned parts only with foil to protect them. Get more tips here – happy roasting!

Use a Meat Thermometer

Using a Meat Thermometer

No matter what your recipe says, the best way to tell if meat is done is to use a meat thermometer! These are generally used with larger cuts of meat – like whole turkeys – making them a Thanksgiving tool of choice.

Meat thermometers come in a variety of styles, including dial types, probes and stand-up types of thermometers. Some probe thermometers allow you to connect the thermometer to a countertop unit that gives you the temperature reading without even having to open the oven.

Get more tips and a how-to guide for mastering the meat thermometer to help you dish up a perfectly roasted turkey this Thanksgiving!

Holiday Leftovers

Storing Holiday Leftovers

Leftovers give you a few more days to savor your holiday creations. Make sure they're safely stored by following these pointers – like cooling hot leftovers in the refrigerator instead of on the counter!

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