Top Ten Turkey Day Tips - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

Top Ten Turkey Day Tips

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OMAHA (KPTM)- There are a lot of stories out there about happy Thanksgiving memories.

There are also lots of stories out about the time Mom or Dad totally killed the bird.

Fortunately, we've compiled a list of important tips you need to make your thanksgiving a good one.

1. Mom knows Best.

"I think everybody starts with the way their mother cooked their turkey, and I'm also in that same vein," said Ron Popp. Popp owns Wheatfields with his wife. He said he cooks hundreds of turkeys this time of the year, just the way mom prepared them.

2. Make sure to thaw the turkey completely.

"You don't want to cook a turkey that has a frozen center," said Popp. Turkeys can take up to a couple of days to thaw.

3. Keep the turkey seasonings simple.

"I don't use any fancy seasonings because I think you just want the flavor of the turkey," said Popp. Popp said he seasons his turkeys with butter and a tablespoon of salt, and that's it.

4. Dry the outside of the turkey.

"Don't worry about the inside of the turkey," said Popp.

5. Set the oven to 350 degrees and cook a 20 pound turkey for 2.5 hours.

Popp said he covers his turkeys with foil for half the amount of time.

6. Don't flip the bird over to cook it.

"It destroys the look of the bird," said Popp. He said cooking it properly doesn't mean it needs to be turned upside down.

7. Take the turkey out of the oven when the thermometer reads 165 degrees.

Popp said the most important thing to have when cooking a turkey is a thermometer. The turkey is ready when that thermometer reads 165. To get a proper measurement, make sure to stick the thermometer right between the leg and cavity of the body and also the thickest part of the turkey breast. "You can know confidently that you have cooked the turkey right," said Popp.

8. Have a sharp knife for carving.

After letting the turkey rest for 15 to 30 minutes, make sure you have a sharp knife and fork, said Popp. "That way you can get some slices of distinction," said Popp.

9. Cook the stuffing separately.

"You're getting all the same flavor, more it's an image," said Popp. Popp said make the stuffing with top ingredients and turkey stock, and it'll taste just the same and be easier to do.

10. Have all the sides prepared before the turkey is done.  

"Make sure everything else is ready, so when the turkey is carved, its' the last thing to go on the table," said Popp.

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