If you don't count today (and I don't have to if I don't want to!), Thanksgiving is 5 days away! Lots of good food, family, fun, football & food borne illnesses...
Doesn't quite work does it?
Today I'm going to post some tips on how to prevent those nasty things from showing up at your Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Wash your hands properly & often using hot water & soap. This is probably the number one prevention of food borne illnesses when it comes to all cooking but more than likely today you'll be cooking for several people instead of just your immediate family. And, more than likely, you'll be making a lot more food than normal. It's easy to get distracted but let's keep your guests and their health in mind ok?
2. Don't cross contaminate. Keep your thawing turkey on the lowest shelf of your refrigerator underneath other foods. Don't use the same knife (or other utensils) on your turkey that you use on other foods. That goes for your cutting board too. Have a turkey only cutting board today.
3. Thaw your turkey properly. NEVER let your turkey thaw at room temperature. It should thaw in the refrigerator or in a tub of COLD water. If the water warms, refill it. Here's a chart of thawing times from FoodSafety.gov:
|Turkey Size|| In the Refrigerator|
(Approximately 24 hours
for every 4-5 lbs.)
|In Cold Water|
minutes per lb.)
|4-12 lbs||1 to 3 days||2-6 hours|
|12-16 lbs||3 to 4 days||6 -8 hours|
|16-20 lbs||4 to 5 days||8-10 hours|
|20-24 lbs||5 to 6 days|| 10-12 hours|
|Size of Turkey||Unstuffed||Stuffed|
|4-6 lbs (breast)||1½-2¼ hours||Not usually applicable|
|6-8 lbs (breast)||2¼-3¼ hours||2½-3½ hours|
|8-12 lbs||2¾-3 hours||3-3½ hours|
|12-14 lbs||3-3¾ hours||3½-4 hours|
|14-18 lbs||3¾-4¼ hours||4-4¼ hours|
|18-20 lbs||4¼ to 4½ hours||4¼ to 4¾ hours|
|20-24 lbs||4½ to 5 hours||4¾ to 5¼ hours|
And for alternative ways to cook turkey:
|Method||Size||Estimated Cooking Time||Notes|
|Electric Roaster Oven||8 -24 lbs.||Generally same times as for oven roasting.||Minimum oven temperature 325 °F. Check appliance manual.|
|Grilling: Covered Charcoal Grill or Covered Gas Grill||8-16 lbs.||15-18 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.||Air in the grill must maintain 225 to 300 °F; use drip pan.|
|Smoking||8-12 lbs.||20-30 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.||Air in the smoker must maintain 225 to 300 °F; use drip pan with liquid.|
|Deep Fat Frying||8-12 lbs.||3-5 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.||Oil must maintain 350 °F.|
Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
|Microwaving||8-14 lbs.||9-10 minutes per pound on medium (50%) power. DO NOT STUFF.|| Use oven cooking bag. Rotate during cooking|
I, for one, am very excited about Thanksgiving. It's a HUGE cooking time for me (which I adore!) and a wonderful family time (which I adore too!). I know how I would feel if I made people sick. I'm sure you'd feel the same way.