Tips to Cook Your Bird Safely This Thanksgiving

Frying fails, under-cooked or burned to a crisp are all scenarios to avoid if you’re cooking a bird this Thanksgiving. Rosemary Trout, head of Culinary Arts and Food Science in Drexel’s Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, has developed eight helpful tips to keep you safe in your kitchen this holiday.

  • Don’t wash your turkey — there’s no need, and you don’t want to spread bacteria all over your sink.
  • Cook your turkey to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and take the temperature in at least two different sections on the bird. That helps to ensure that the entire turkey is cooked properly.
  • If your turkey is frozen, allow enough time for it to defrost slowly in your refrigerator. Never defrost turkey on your counter.
  • If you’re deep frying your turkey, make sure it’s completely defrosted before adding it to the hot oil.
  • Make sure the frying vessel is large enough to contain the turkey plus oil, and consider that the oil should cover the turkey by 1 to 2 inches. (Generally, deep-frying is for smaller birds, no larger than 12 pounds.)
  • If you stuff your turkey, don’t fry it. If you stuff and bake your turkey, make sure the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Refrigerate leftover turkey within two hours. It will make a great (and safe) turkey sandwich the next day
  • Always fry turkeys outside — with a mug of warm apple cider and calvados (or without the calvados!)

Media interested in speaking to Trout should contact Emily Storz at 215.895.2705 or


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