Everyone knows the stuffing is the best part of the bird! These foolproof instructions will ensure that yours is delicious.
: When stuffing your turkey, make the stuffing at the last minute so it can go into the bird warm, reducing the potential for bacteria to grow around it during baking.
Step 1: Prep the turkey Make sure your turkey is completely thawed. Remove the giblet package from the cavity, rinse the bird inside and out with cold water, and pat it dry.
Step 2: Make the stuffing Make the stuffing just before you're ready to cook the turkey. If you want to do some prep work ahead of time, keep the recipe's wet ingredients chilled and separate from the dry ones until it's time to stuff the turkey.
TIP: Plan on 1 cup of stuffing per pound of turkey -- more if you're cooking for a Thanksgiving crowd!
Step 3: Stuff the turkey Stuff both the neck and body cavities loosely; otherwise, it won't cook evenly and bacteria could grow. If there's any left over, put it in a buttered, oven-safe casserole dish and refrigerate it. Cover and stick it in the oven about 30 minutes before the bird is done. Uncover it and cook for an additional 10 minutes for a crispy, golden top.
Step 4: Keep stuffing inside Keep the stuffing from spilling out by sticking a skewer through the neck flap and tying the legs together with cooking twine. Immediately place the stuffed turkey in a preheated oven set no lower than 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
TIP: If you're cooking a turkey breast, hold the stuffing in with a piece of foil.
Step 5: Check the temperature When the turkey is done, stick a meat thermometer into the center of the stuffing to make sure it's reached 165 degrees. Bon appetit!
FACT: When stuffing is cooked outside the bird, the correct term is "dressing."