Turkey Troubleshooting

Q: How can I make sure my turkey is large enough to accommodate a crowd?
A: Keep these things in mind when you choose a turkey. Smaller turkeys―those weighing less than 12 pounds―will serve one person per pound. Turkeys in excess of 12 pounds generally serve one person per every 3/4 of a pound―they're more efficient at producing meat than smaller birds. Also, consider the size of your oven―a large bird may be meatier, but it won't do you any good if is won't fit in your oven!

Q: Help! I thought I followed instructions for thawing my turkey correctly, but it's still frozen.
A: Don't panic: You can speed-thaw a turkey by wrapping it in plastic and placing it in cold water. Remember to change the water every half-hour.

Q: My turkeys always seem dry, especially the white meat. What's the best way to keep my turkey moist and golden brown?
A: Protecting the breast with an aluminum foil "tent" beats old-fashioned basting any day. The foil keeps the breast from browning too quickly and drying out. Just be sure to remove the foil during the last hour of cooking to get that just-right golden color.

Q: I never seem to get it right: Either my turkey's underdone or overdone. What's the best way to know when to take it out of the oven?
A: The only sure-fire solution is to use a meat thermometer. We like instant-read thermometers that sit outside the oven and are connected directly to the turkey inside with a wire. The wire contains a stainless-steel sensor that lets you keep track of the temperature without having to open the oven. These thermometers are great because you can set the "done" temperature for the turkey (which is 180 degrees deep in the thigh), and an alarm will go off when it reaches that temperature. This type of thermometer beats a standard meat thermometer for accuracy and convenience.

Q: I always have tons of leftover turkey. How do I store it properly?
A: For food safety's sake, make a vow to deal with leftovers within two hours after roasting. Prep the turkey by removing any stuffing and carving meat off bones. To store in the refrigerator, wrap turkey slices and stuffing separately and use within three days. In the freezer, wrap in heavy foil or freezer wrap, or place in freezer container or bags. For optimum flavor, use turkey within two months.