Nov 16, 2022

KOERNER: Turkey preparation reminders

Posted Nov 16, 2022 9:00 PM
written by: Monique Koerner - Family and Community Wellness Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District.
written by: Monique Koerner - Family and Community Wellness Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District.

Looking at turkeys for your holiday meals? Here are some tips to help make your holiday turkey safe and healthy. Turkey is a healthy choice since it is considered a white meat and full of protein! Some tips for keeping it as healthy as possible is to bake it and not fry it or use herbs and lemon to season rather than butter and salt. Allow one pound (1 lb) of turkey per person you are serving. Thawing turkeys can be tricky but remember to thaw them in one of three ways: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or the microwave. Allowing your bird to thaw at room temperature can allow dangerous bacteria to grow. Washing a raw turkey or poultry also spreads bacteria around the kitchen so you can save time and skip washing the bird. To roast the turkey, start with an oven temperature set at least at 325 degrees. Timetable for turkey roasting varies based on size and if the turkey is stuffed or not. The turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees when it is thoroughly cooked. Allow the turkey to stand for 20 minutes before carving.

Then there are the leftovers. Turkey can be eaten hot or cold once it is cooked. However, a good rule is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold and don’t allow leftovers out for too long. Resist the temptation to leave lunch out for supper. Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours. Dividing leftovers into smaller portions and in shallow containers allows leftovers to cool quickly. Leftovers should be used within three to four days.

The USDA has a meat and poultry hotline and website if you find you have questions during the holidays. Th phone number is 1-888-674-6854 (1-888-MPHotline) Monday-Friday 10am-4pm or online at www.fsis.usda.gov. You can always call the office to talk to an extension agent to have your questions answered as well. Cottonwood Extension District has lots of tips on our website as well. https://cottonwood.k-state.edu/

I hope you enjoy eating lots of turkey this holiday season.

Monique Koerner is the Family and Community Wellness Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. You may reach her at: 785-628-9430 or [email protected] K-State Research & Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.