What are giblets?
Giblets are any of the edible internal parts of a turkey, such as the gizzard, heart
and liver, plus the neck. They're typically wrapped in plastic or paper and reinserted
into the turkey's body cavity. In the South, it's customary to make gravy stock
using the giblets.
What's the right way to stuff a turkey?
We do not recommend stuffing your turkey. We recommend preparing your stuffing separately.
How do you cook a larger bone-in-turkey breast?
Place the turkey breast in a shallow roasting pan. It will cook more evenly if the
airflow isn't restricted by using a taller roaster. Bake at 325°F until a meat thermometer
reads 170°F in the thickest part of the breast. Roasting time will vary according
to the size of the breast.
How do I cook a turkey that is over 25 lbs.?
Preheat the oven to 325° F. For an unstuffed turkey, plan on 4½ to 5 hours. Begin to
check your turkey for doneness about one-half hour before suggested end times. The best way to
tell if your turkey is done is by internal temperature. If using a meat thermometer in addition
to the pop-up timer, insert into the thickest part of the breast without touching the bone.
Can I deep fry a turkey with the plastic pop-up timer in it?
Should I remove the hock lock when I deep fry a turkey?
Yes, remove the hock lock. Also remove the neck and giblets from the cavity, trim the fat from the neck area and trim the tail area and wings. Check the manufacturer’s instructions.
How can I microwave a turkey?
It is not recommended to microwave a turkey.
Will a turkey cook faster in a dark roaster?
Turkey will cook faster in a dark roaster since it causes things to brown at a faster rate.
Be sure to start checking your meat thermometer approximately one hour before your turkey
is supposed to be done.
Why did the pop-up timer fail?
The spring mechanism in the pop-up timer will sometimes fail. It is designed to "pop up" when steam causes the internal firing material to melt. Also, if you baste your turkey, sometimes the basting liquid can clog the pop-up timer mechanism. We recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking.
Why was the timer dislodged?
It could be from any number of reasons from it being dislodged during transportation to improper
insertion. Simply place the timer back where it was originally inserted.
Can I roast a turkey in a brown paper bag?
We highly discourage using a brown paper bag for cooking. Not only are they not sanitary, but also
they may cause a fire and can emit toxic fumes when exposed to heat. Intense heat may cause a bag
to ignite, causing a fire in the oven and possibly adulterating the turkey. Instead, use oven cooking
bags found at your grocer.
What is a self-basted turkey?
A self-basted turkey is one that has been pre-basted or marinated with a solution to enhance juiciness or
tenderness. The marinade or solution could contain such ingredients as turkey broth, salt, sugar and flavorings.
Do I need to baste my turkey?
It is not necessary to baste a self-basting turkey. It is not necessary to baste a non-basted turkey but it does
add nice color and flavor to the skin only. Basting generally does not penetrate below the skin. Most turkeys are
pre-basted with broth already deep inside the meat, making it moist and tender. Repeatedly opening the oven door
to baste only heats the kitchen and prolongs the cooking time.
How much does the giblet package weigh?
Giblets weigh about 0.7 lbs.
Do I have to remove the giblet packet?
Yes, it is necessary to remove the giblet packet and neck from the turkey before cooking.
If you do not wish to use these items in stock or gravy you can dispose of them.
How do I cook a bone-in breast?
Thaw turkey and prepare according to package directions. Place turkey breast-side up on rack
in shallow roasting pan. Brush breast with vegetable oil. Roast at 325° F. When breast is golden brown,
cover with a loose tent of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. The turkey is done when a meat thermometer
reads 170° F in the breast. For easier slicing, let stand 10 minutes.
3-4 lb. turkey: Roast 1 - 1½ hours
4-5 lb. turkey: Roast 1½ - 2 hours
5-6 lb. turkey: Roast 2 - 2½ hours
6-7 lb. turkey: Roast 2½ - 3¼ hours
What is the plastic device that is on my turkeys legs?
The device is called a hock lock, and is designed to secure the turkey legs together. The hock lock is made of a heat resistant nylon designed for roasting.
Can I cook a turkey with the hock lock?
Yes, it is safe to roast a turkey with the hock lock on. If you are deep frying the turkey, you should remove it.
How do I remove the hock lock?
The hock lock can easily be removed after roasting by sliding off the turkey legs. Prior to roasting, it can be removed with kitchen shears.
Should I brine my turkey?
Brining your turkey can add moisture to the meat. The salt in many brine recipes can help cause the meat tissues to absorb water and flavorings. It also breaks down the proteins, resulting in a tender-seeming turkey. We recommend using a low-salt brine recipe if you have purchased a turkey containing a basting solution.
How do I grill a turkey?
We recommend following the manufacturer’s directions for preparing the grill. Here are some basic tips:
- Prepare fresh or thawed turkey by removing giblets and neck, draining juices and patting dry with clean paper towels.
- Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place and tuck legs. Brush entire turkey with cooking or vegetable oil.
- Place turkey, breast up, on cooking grate over drip pan. Cover grill, leaving vents open.
- For charcoal grilling, add 6 to 8 briquettes to each side every 45 to 60 minutes.
- Using meat thermometer, cook turkey to internal temperature of 180° F in thigh and 170° F in breast.
- 10 to 18 lb. turkeys will take 2 to 3 hours to grill. When done, remove and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
- For gas grilling, turn temperature down to approximately 350° F.
How do I deep fry a turkey?
We recommend following the manufacturer’s directions for preparing the fryer. Here are some basic tips:
- Take the wrapper off of the turkey, and remove and discard the neck and giblets. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels
- Deep-fry your turkey outside on a flat surface, far away from homes, garages, wooden decks, etc.
- Never leave your deep fryer unattended
- Add oil to the fryer based on the fryer manufacturer guidelines
- Preheat oil in the fryer to 375° F.
- When the oil is hot, turn the burner off and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. Slowly lowering the basket helps prevent the oil from bubbling over. Turn the burner back on.
- Cook the turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
- The turkey is done when the dark meat is at an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F and all white meat is at an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.
- When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan or on paper towels to drain. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket.
How do I smoke a turkey?
We recommend following the manufacturer’s directions for preparing the smoker. Here are some basic tips:
- Prepare an 8 to 18 lb. thawed or fresh turkey by removing the giblets and neck draining the juices, and drying with paper towels. The turkey should be completely thawed for even, safe cooking.
- Do not stuff your turkey. Brush the skin with vegetable oil and insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into lower thigh.
- Place the turkey on a cooking rack and cook until the inner thigh temperature reaches 180° F.
- Check the temperature of your turkey after 3½ hours. Your turkey must pass through a critical range of 40° F to 140° F in 4 hours or less. If the internal temperature is low after 3½ hours, take your turkey off the smoker and finish it in the oven.
- Cover the turkey and chill or let stand for 20 minutes before carving.