Feeling unsure about the safety
of stuffing a turkey? Follow a few simple precautions in preparation
and you've nothing to fear.
of Americans have been enjoying turkeys, stuffed and unstuffed.
Whether you choose to stuff your turkey or cook stuffing in a
casserole dish is a matter of personal preference. As with any
preparation involving raw food ingredients, it's important to
carefully follow proper food safety and handling procedures to
ensure a safe turkey every time. For those who choose to stuff
their turkey, we recommend the following guidelines according
to the turkey experts at Butterball.
- Prepare stuffing just before
placing in turkey.
- Use only cooked ingredients
in stuffing --sauteed vegetables, use only cooked meats and seafood
(oysters) and use pasteurized egg products instead of raw eggs.
- Place prepared stuffing in turkey
just before roasting. Do not stuff the turkey the night before
- Stuff both neck and body cavities
of a completely thawed turkey, allowing 1/2 to 3/4 cup of stuffing
per pound of turkey. Do not pack stuffing tightly in turkey.
- Always use a meat thermometer.
The turkey is done when the thigh temperature reaches 180°F
(80°C) on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part
of the thigh next to body, not touching bone. Move the meat thermometer
to the center of stuffing; temperature should be 160°F to
165°F (70°C to 75°C). When the stuffed turkey is
done, remove turkey from oven and let turkey with stuffing stand
15 to 20 minutes. This stand time provides an added measure of
safety for stuffing temperature to reach 165°F (75°C).
So go ahead and stuff that bird
(our personal preference, too!) and enjoy a more flavorful dish,
taking care to follow the safety guidelines.
Note of Caution: When the turkey is cooked on an outdoor
grill, water smoker or by fast cook methods where the turkey
typically gets done faster than the stuffing, it is recommended
that the turkey not be stuffed.