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The Best Turkey Stuffing
Turkey Stuffing Tips Revealed
No matter what recipe your family chooses, having the best information about stuffing the holiday meal with flavor and fun is a must! Has your Thanksgiving stuffing tasted flat, bland, or just plain weird in the past? Use a few of the pointers here and you might discover the best turkey stuffing you have ever made.
Today, we will be discussing expanding stuffing, toasting, actually stuffing the bird, bacterial safety, some smart stuff, and a couple of quick stuffing tips to get you through your holiday feast with flying colors. Make notes, bookmark, or email this article to yourself. Because this holiday stuffing stuff will be priceless when your making that big turkey dinner!
Turkey Stuffing Will Expand
How to Put the Stuffing Inside the Turkey
If you want to avoid Thanksgiving stuffing that comes out watery and flavorless, avoid compacting it too much. Don't jam as much stuffing into the turkey cavity as you possibly can fit in there, a chef certainly never would. Stuffing will ALWAYS expand from moisture in the mix, as well as from the bird's juices during cooking. By over stuffing it, you prevent all those wonderful flavors from getting into the bread mix where they need to be. So "tuck" the stuffing into the turkey's cavity, leaving enough room for the sponge-like stuffing to soak up all that good Turkey juice and savory flavor!
BELL'S POULTRY SEASONONG, 1-oz boxes (Pack of 6)
Toasted Bread Makes Better Stuffing
Should I Toast the Bread for Stuffing?
When making your stuffing, always use very dry bread, and preferably nicely toasted bread. The night before you are going to make your stuffing, toast up some bread in the oven. Place the bread in the stuffing recipe last, after all of the cooked vegetables and meats have been added. This will keep your stuffing as perfectly fluffy as you hoped it would be when it arrives to your holiday table!
Locating the Best Poultry Seasoning
Bell's Poultry Seasoning is the best!
Seasoning Your Thanksgiving Stuffing
Stuffing Seasoning Recipe Tip
A stuffing without poultry seasoning just isn't a stuffing! It is that one undeniable component that makes stuffing,..well...stuffing. But be very aware that not all poultry seasoning is created equal; a huge difference can be found in the freshness of the herbs and the methods that have been used to blend them together, as well as the manner in which the seasoning has been stored prior to shipping to your grocers shelves. In my opinion, the best and ONLY poultry seasoning I will use in my thanksgiving stuffing recipe is made by a company called Brady Enterprises out of East Weymouth, Massachusetts. Poultry seasoning was developed and perfected around 1864 by William Bell. is quite a bit more potent than other brands you may have used in the past, so remember that a little of the good stuff goes a long way in your stuffing. Bell's Poultry Seasoning
Cooking That Stuffing Stuffed Bird
How to Cook a Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey
Cooking your bird at anything less than 325°F can allow bacteria in the stuffing to multiply like the plague. Higher cooking temperatures may shorten the cooking time, which can leave your perfectly toasted and seasoned stuffing undercooked. The old school way of slow cooking the dressing inside the bird overnight has resulted in far too many cases of bacterial food poisoning throughout Thanksgiving History. You can protect your family from this ugly fate by checking the finished internal temperature of the stuffing once the bird is done. That stuffing temperature has to be NO LESS than 165°F to keep your holiday meal food-poison free.
What to do if the Bird is Done, But the Stuffing Isn't:
(If the bird is done but the stuffing is still below 165°F internal temperature)
- Increase oven temp to 350°F
- Immediately remove the stuffing from the bird cavity
- Place stuffing into a baking dish
- Cover baking dish with foil
- Place the baking dish back into the oven (at 350°F)
- Finish cooking the stuffing until it reaches at least 165°F internal temperature
- Allow your turkey to rest during this time
Stuffed Turkey Cooking Times (at 325ºF)
8 - 12 Pounds
3 - 4 Hours
12 - 16 Pounds
4 -4½ Hours
16 - 20 Pounds
4½ - 5 Hours
20 - 26 Pounds
5 - 6 Hours
How to Breed Your Very Own Thanksgiving Stuffing Salmonella
How to Prevent Bacteria from Growing in the Stuffed Bird
NEVER leave your stuffed or cooked poultry out at room temperature for more than 40 minutes prior to refrigerating. The nasty and very deadly Salmonella bacteria live and actually thrive at temperatures of 60°F - 125°F. You must remove ALL of the stuffing (every little bit) from the turkey cavity when the bird is ready to carve. A warm bird will keep that stuffing cozy warm, providing the perfect temperature for bacterial growth. Keep the holiday meal fun and healthy, get the stuffing out of the bird quickly!
Celebrate Thanksgiving with These Decorating Ideas!
- Thanksgiving Decorations and Décor
The great thing about fall decorations is you can keep them up so long. If you put them out at the beginning of September, leave them up until Thanksgiving! You get almost three months of enjoyment from just one decorating session!
A Great Turkey Stuffing Safety Tip!
The Smart Way to Stuff a Thanksgiving Turkey
When you shop for your Thanksgiving bird this year, check the "turkey roasting accessories" section. You want to find "stuffing bags." Grocery stores are now selling these wonderful little bags designed for easy stuffing removal. Before roasting the bird, stuff it on of two ways:
- Place your prepared stuffing recipe into the bag and then place the bag in the bird
- Place the bag in the bird and then add your prepared stuffing recipe into the bag
Option 1 or 2 both work, you will have to find which one works best for you. I find option 2 keeps me from over stuffing the bird. These bags provide easy removal of the cooked stuffing and that means a greater level of bacterial safety for your family. (A much less expensive piece of cheesecloth works just as well, and it allows the juices to better season the stuffing.)
What about Left Over Turkey?
Extra Turkey Stuffing Tips
- When stuffing your turkey, the opening can be sealed by using a piece of raw potato.
- Make sure all of the ingredients added to the stuffing recipe are fully precooked.
- If you use the giblets (precooked of course) in your stuffing, eliminate the liver organ, as it can make the stuffing bitter to those who are not wild about the taste of liver to begin with.
- The neck, gizzards, heart and liver are the giblets and are quite high in cholesterol. So if you add them to your stuffing be sure to let anyone who is on a know about it. low cholesterol diet
- Never wrap warm poultry (or any meat) in aluminum foil and then place it in the fridge. Foil acts as a very efficient insulator and will keep the food too warm for too long; allowing our old nemesis bacteria to thrive. Use plastic wrap instead or a sealed plastic container.