Meanwhile, if you're trying to figure out how to prepare that turkey, you'll find a bit of variation in the advice online.
Wash the turkey or not? I get contradictory advice:
Better Homes and Gardens:
Don't wash the bird. Washing raw poultry is not necessary, and the splashing water may contaminate surrounding objects. In general, the less you handle poultry, the safer it remains.Epicurious:
Finally, rinse the outside of the turkey and inside the cavity with cool water and pat dry. As a precaution against the spread of harmful bacteria, be sure to wash the sink, countertop, and any utensils that have come in contact with the uncooked meat, as well as your own hands, with soap and water.
Cooking times are closer but still vary greatly
Here are three recommendations. We have a 21 pound turkey the advice from these three different sites are, for cooking at 325˚F: 4.5-5 hours, 5.5 - 6 hours, and 3.5-4.5. What seems to be common among them all is that it's done when the inside temperature should be 165˚F.
From the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service :
Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(325 °F oven temperature)
Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.
|4 to 8 pounds (breast)||1½ to 3¼ hours|
|8 to 12 pounds||2¾ to 3 hours|
|12 to 14 pounds||3 to 3¾ hours|
|14 to 18 pounds||3¾ to 4¼ hours|
|18 to 20 pounds||4¼ to 4½ hours|
|20 to 24 pounds||4½ to 5 hours|
From Homecooking at aboutdotcom:
|Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey|
|6 to 8 pounds||2-1/2 to 3 hours|
|8 to 12 pounds||3 to 4 hours|
|12 to 16 pounds||4 to 5 hours|
|16 to 20 pounds||5 to 5-1/2 hours|
|20 to 24 pounds||5-1/2 to 6 hours|
This one, I just realized, is from AskAndyAbout Clothes.
Do I want to take turkey cooking advice from a clothes blog? And he doesn't say where his information comes from. But I like his times.
|Turkey weight with giblets||Oven temp||Internal temp when done|| |
|10-13 lb.||350° F||165°||1 ½ to 2 ¼ hr.|
|14-23 lb.||325°||165°||2 to 3 hr.|
|24-27 lb.||325°||165°||3 to 3 ¾ hr.|
|28-30 lb.||325°||165°||3 ½ to 4 ½ hr.|
Last year we took advice to cook the turkey faster and it was great.
And what does Mary's Little Lamb have to do with Thanksgiving? Find out below.
In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition.
In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians.
Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when
Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.