Tony's Top Ten Turkey Tips - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Tony's Top Ten Turkey Tips

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More Turkey Day Recipes & Tips are available at www.thelostitalian.com


1.                  MAKE YOUR LISTS!

a.      Guest List

b.      Menu

c.       Grocery  list

d.      Review Timing for preparation of each dish - What can you do in advance?

e.      Wine and other beverages: purchase any alcoholic beverages before Thursday!


2.                  PREPARE THE REFRIGERATOR and storage containers for leftovers.


3.                  BUY THE TURKEY well in advance of Turkey Day

a.      This should be done at least 3 to 4 days in advance of the dinner if buying frozen to allow ample time for thawing

b.      How much turkey do you need?

                                                              i.      Rule of thumb: Allow 1 lb. of uncooked turkey per guest


4.                  THAW THE TURKEY!

a.      If buying a frozen turkey, you will need to allow ample time for thawing. Follow the guidelines below for best results

b.      NEVER thaw at room temperature. It is always best to thaw the turkey in a refrigerator, whenever possible, but a cold-water method can also be used. It takes less time with cold water, but is not as safe as a refrigerator.


5.                  COOK THE TURKEY

a.      Cook at 350°F for approx. 15-17 minutes per pound.

b.      If the turkey is also stuffed, add an additional 30 minutes of cooking time.


6.                  USE A MEAT THERMOMETER to ensure the turkey is thoroughly cooked. Once the turkey has reached its cooking time, you will need to take two temperatures to test for doneness.

a.      Insert a meat thermometer into the breast – the temperature should be 165°F.

b.      Next, insert the thermometer into the thigh of the leg for a reading of 180°F.

c.       If you stuff your turkey with dressing, you will also need to insert the thermometer into the stuffing for a reading of 165°F.


7.                  ALLOW THE TURKEY TO REST for 30 minutes after removing from the oven. This will help to retain its moisture.


8.                  SHARPEN YOUR KNIVES!

a.      A proper carving knife is the best utensil for carving a turkey, and the sharper, the better and safer.


9.                  USE PORTABLE STEAM TABLES to hold side dishes to ensure that everything is hot when the turkey is served.


10.              COOK SOMETHING ITALIAN!







Turkey Thawing Time in the Refrigerator (40°F) – approx. 24 hours per 5 pounds

Leave the bird in its original wrapping and place on a tray inside refrigerator.


Whole Turkey Weight                       Thawing Time             Day to Begin (a.m.)

8 to 12 lbs                                           1 to 2 days                   Tuesday

12 to 16 lbs                                         2 to 3 days                   Monday

16 to 20 lbs                                         3 to 4 days                   Sunday

20 to 24 lbs                                         4 to 5 days                   Saturday



Turkey Thawing Time in Cold Water – approx. 30 minutes per pound.

Change the water every half-hour.


Whole Turkey Weight                       Thawing Time

8 to 12 lbs                                           4 to 6 hours

12 to 16 lbs                                         6 to 8 hours

16 to 20 lbs                                         8 to 10 hours

20 to 24 lbs                                         10 to 12 hours


 More Turkey Day Recipes & Tips are available at www.thelostitalian.com


Recommended Wine Pairings for a

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner 






Pinot Noir

Cream Sherry



Tawny Port




Sauvignon Blanc

Beaujolais Nouveau


Pinot Gris (not Grigio)







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