Avoiding Turkey Cooking Mistakes

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The turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, so we talked with chefs about how to get the best bird this year.

Cooking Turkey

- Oven: For a 15 lb. Turkey it needs about 3-3 ½ hrs with the oven at 325° F. Remember to check the temp and cook thighs to at least 165° F

- Deep Frying: Preheat oil to 400° F. Then fry the Turkey at 325° F. Be sure the turkey is completely void of excess moisture and/or brine. It should take 3-4 mins per pound, temp thighs at least 165° F

Checking Doneness/Temperature
- Use an accurate and calibrated meat thermometer
- Check thigh at joint, Check breast at largest area

Store cooked turkey within 2 hrs. after cooking. Eat or Freeze leftover turkey within 3-4 days.


- Don’t cook frozen or semi-frozen turkey: The exterior will be overcooked and dry. You also can run the risk of not fully cooking the turkey.

- Turkey is inherently dry: It's a lean meat with little to no fat. If you overcook the bird it causes it to be very dry.

- Ways to prevent Turkey from becoming too dry: Don’t overcook the bird! Fill cavity with vegetables and/or fruit to get more juices inside. Add fat like an oil based marinade or butter under the skin to add moisture.

- Cover turkey with foil in the first part of the roast to prevent over browning. Be sure before you put the foil on to spray it with food release to prevent sticking.