Turkey Size: When purchasing a whole turkey, purchase at least one pound of uncooked turkey per person. You’ll have enough for the feast and for leftovers too.
Turkey Defrosting: It’s best to thaw turkey in the refrigerator, where it’s too cold for harmful bacteria to grow. Plan ahead to allow a full day for every 4 pounds of turkey being thawed. The thawed turkey can stay in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. If you don’t have time for a refrigerator thaw, you can thaw it in cold water, about 30 minutes per pound of turkey.
*If you are buying a fresh turkey, wait and buy it 1-2 days before cooking.
Turkey Roasting: Always roast the turkey on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan so the oven heat circulates and helps the turkey to brown. A cooked turkey is safe to eat once the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
Turkey Carving: It’s best to let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to set, so the turkey will carve more easily. Use a clean cutting board that has a well to catch juices.
Turkey Leftovers: Refrigerate cooked leftovers promptly – within 2 hours. Divide leftovers into smaller portions and store in shallow containers in the refrigerator. Leftovers should be eaten, frozen or discarded within 3 to 4 days.