Christmas Turkey Tips

How to make a perfect christmas turkey, thawing turkey, preparing and stuffing the christmas turkey, roasting turkey tips, essential tools, timetable for roasting your Christmas turkey, and handling Christmas turkey leftovers.

 

 

How to do a Perfect Christmas Turkey

 

Thawing Turkey:

1). Thaw in original bag on tray in refrigerator for 3-4 days (24 hours for each 5 lbs).

2). For faster thawing, cover turkey in original bag with cold water and change the water frequently (30 minutes per pound).

3). After turkey is thawed, remove the neck and giblets stored inside the turkey. Wash turkey, inside and out; drain well.

4). Store fresh thawed turkey in refrigerator no longer than 2 days before cooking it.

5). Always wash hands, utensils, sink, dishcloths and anything that touches the raw turkey with very hot, soapy water to avoid contaminating other food with bacteria.

 

Preparing & Stuffing the Christmas Turkey:

1). Rub the cavity of the turkey lightly with salt, if desired, but do not salt the cavity if the turkey is to be stuffed.

2). Stuff turkey just before roasting, not ahead of time!

3). Dry stuffing ingredients can be mixed ahead of time if tightly covered. Toss moist ingredients just before stuffing.

4). Fill wishbone area with stuffing first. Fasten neck skin to back with skewer.

5). Fold wings across back with tips touching.

6). Stuffing expands as it cooks, so stuff body cavity lightly.

7). Tuck drumsticks under band of skin or tail, or tie skewer to tail.

 

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Roasting Turkey Tips:

1). Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast in 325~ oven.

2). Use tent of foil over turkey when it begins to turn golden brown.

3). If using a dark covered enamel pan, roast covered. Remove lid during last 1/2 hour if further browning is desired.

4). When turkey is 2/3's done, remove skewer or band holding legs.

5). Using a meat thermometer is the best way to insure doneness. When placed in the thickest part of inside thigh muscle or the thickest part of breast meat, it should read 185~ when done. (Thermometer should not touch bone.)

6). When turkey is done, let stand 20 minutes for easiest carving.

 

Essential Tools for Turkey Roasting:

Make sure you have the following for your Christmas turkey dinner:

A Large Roasting Pan.

Vegetable Oil and Butter, Salt and Pepper.

A Towel. You will have greater luck with the drumstick clamp if you grasp it and the slippery turkey with a towel.

An Instant-Read Thermometer. This is your most important tool. With this, you don't need a roasting chart or a clock. Read the facts on the dial. If you don't have one, get one.

Turkey Lifter. The easy way to remove turkey from the pan. The best turkey lifter looks like snow chains but acts as a sling. Two strands of metal chain-link lie on the bottom of your roasting pan with handles draped over the side of the pan. The turkey rests on top of the sling. You simply grasp both handles and heave. This device will put an end to burned hands, greasy potholders and lost drumsticks.

Aluminum Foil. For great-looking turkeys, lay a sheet of loose foil over the bird halfway through cooking time. Make it loose, or you'll steam the bird you're attempting to roast. Also, you may need to wrap foil booties around the drumsticks so they don't get dry and crunchy.

Bulb Baster. Makes basting easy, but begs the question about basting at all. New thinking discourages basting. Basting causes streaking through the skin's sheen. Turkey skin is so thick that basting really can't penetrate it. Basting only keeps the cook busy.

Strainer. For straining clear juices for gravy.

 

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Timetable for Roasting your Christmas Turkey

Weight

Total Cooking Time
at 325 degrees F.

Internal
Temperature

     

Whole Turkey, Stuffed

6-8 lbs

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours

180 degrees F.

8-12 lbs

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours

180 degrees F.

12-16 lbs

4 to 5 hours

.

180 degrees F.

16-20 lbs

4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours

180 degrees F.

20-24 lbs

5 to 6 1/2 hours

180 degrees F.

   

Turkey Breast

 

2-4 lbs

1 1/2 to 2 hours

165 degrees F.

3-5 lbs

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours

165 degrees F.

5-7 lbs

2 to 2 1/2 hours

165 degrees F.

For whole turkeys that are not stuffed, roast turkey about 1/2 hour less than times given above for whole turkey stuffed.

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Handling Christmas Turkey Leftovers:

1). As soon as possible after serving, remove all stuffing from the turkey.

2). Refrigerate turkey meat, stuffing and gravy promptly after eating.

Be sure to check out our Christmas Turkey Dinners Recipes, christmas turkey leftovers, more turkey recipes, and more ideas for Christmas dinners.

 

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christmas turkey tips

 

 

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