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you purchase? According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), size your turkey according to the number of people you intend to feed — allow one pound of turkey per person. If you buy a fresh turkey, buy it one or two days before you plan to cook it and keep it refrigerated. If you purchase a frozen turkey, make sure you read the next section. THINGS TO REMEMBER, THINGS TO KNOW Raise your hand if you’ve ever forgotten to thaw your frozen turkey in advance of Thanksgiving Day. I have. If you buy a frozen turkey, you can thaw it safely in your refrigerator allowing approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. If you thaw it in cold water, allow approximately 30 minutes per pound. If your turkey has a giblet package tucked in its cavity, don’t forget to take it out before placing your turkey in the oven. USDA notes that if you use an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. If you are cooking just a turkey breast, stick the thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, stick it in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165°F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F throughout.
After you remove your turkey from the oven, let it stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. Supposedly, the turkey will carve more easily if you follow this rule. Though the turkey is front and center on the Thanksgiving Day supper table, the real point of it all is to gather with cherished loved ones and be grateful for the many blessings each of us has. So this year, before you bite into that turkey leg, take a few moments to reflect, be thankful, and love one another. That’s what it’s all about.