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Selecting Your Turkey

Tips for a Perfectly Stuffed Turkey!

A Little Liquid Holds it All Together A stuffing Adding Moisture destined for inside the bird should have just enough moisture to barely cling together when mounded on a spoon. If it's too wet, it can't soak up the juices from the bird. A stuffing baked in a casserole dish needs a cup or two of stock poured over it to keep it moist during baking.

Don't overstuff the bird and other tips for safe stuffing Because an improperly stuffed or undercooked turkey can cause illness, follow these guidelines for safe stuffing:

Stuff the bird just before roasting. You can make the stuffing in advance and refrigerate it for up to two days, but bring it to room Stuffing the bird temperature before stuffing the turkey because a cold stuffing will slow down the cooking. If you like to add egg to your stuffing, don't add it until just before stuffing the turkey. Refer to our Turkey Roasting page for tips on safe turkey handling.

Pack the stuffing loosely. The stuffing expands as it absorbs Stuffed bird juices, and if it's too tightly packed, it won't cook through. I generally leave enough room to fit my whole extended hand into the bird's cavity. Any extra stuffing gets cooked alongside the bird in a casserole dish.

Cook the stuffing in the bird to 160 to 165F. Check it with an instant-read thermometer inserted all the way into the center of the stuffing. If the bird is done before the stuffing is, take the bird out of the oven but spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish and continue to bake it while the turkey rests before carving.

Let a little stuffing fall out of the bird for delicious crunchy bits. While the author only stuffs the turkey three-quarters full, she likes to leave a little stuffing exposed to get nice and crunchy. There's no need to truss the turkey; tying the bird's legs with string is all it takes.


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