Tips for preparing your Thanksgiving turkey

(KFYR)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 10:27 PM EST
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ENDICOTT (WBNG) -- Ahead of Thanksgiving Day, Executive Chef Michelle McIlroy of “Phantom Chef” shared some helpful tips on how to properly prepare your Thanksgiving turkey, as well as how to store your leftovers.

McIlroy said cooking a turkey may seem a little tricky, but it all starts with properly thawing the bird. To properly thaw, she said to place the turkey in cool running water and do not leave it to thaw sitting on the counter.

She also suggested people should avoid washing their turkey due to contamination of the kitchen, and to make sure to handle raw turkey on a surface that does not have any other food around. People should thoroughly clean any surface and dish that has been in contact with the raw turkey.

“The required temperature to cook all poultry is 165 degrees, your best bet is to have a thermometer,” said McIlroy. “There’s probe ones that are inexpensive and very reliable. Make sure you stick that in the thickest part of the turkey breast.”

She said stuffing can be cooked inside the turkey or separately from the turkey, but if you choose took cook it inside -- make sure the stuffing is also cooked at 165 degrees.

McIlroy advised that leftovers should be stored in sealed containers and refrigerated within two hours, and the leftovers should be good to eat for up to a week. She suggested freezing the leftovers to help them last a while longer.

More information on cooking classes and tips can be found on the Phantom Chef website.