Everything You Need to Know About Making Thanksgiving Turkey

— Written By Rhea Hebert


Thanksgiving is just a week and a half away! Now’s the perfect time to get your turkey prepared – no matter how small your gathering.

NC State Extension’s Homegrown series has a ton of videos to show you how to do everything from buying to brining to safely preparing and storing your turkey. They also include a handy safety tip sheet to download.

As a bonus, they also have a video showing how to safely store your leftovers.

Browse the entire Homegrown How to Safely Prepare a Turkey article and be a Thanksgiving hero!

Quick Safety Tips for Turkey

A tasty turkey should also be a safe turkey. Remember:

  • to thaw in the fridge (use the following times from the USDA),
    • 4 to 12 pounds — 1 to 3 days
    • 12 to 16 pounds — 3 to 4 days
    • 16 to 20 pounds — 4 to 5 days
    • 20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days
  • that you shouldn’t wash your turkey,
  • to wash your hands and surfaces, and
  • to use a digital thermometer to check the cooking turkey’s temperature (minimum 165°).

Everything Turkey from Homegrown

If you’d like more advice, check out all the Homegrown articles on turkey prep.

Written By

Rhea Hebert, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionRhea HebertInstructional and Media Designer Call Rhea Email Rhea Poultry Science
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on Nov 16, 2020
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