SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Nebraska (KCAU) – Thanksgiving Day in the middle of a pandemic means many Siouxlanders are preparing much smaller grocery lists.
For many, that also means they might be preparing the Thanksgiving turkey for the very first time.
Kevin Pottebaum with Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach Office says before you get cooking, make sure all kitchen surfaces and utensils are cleaned.
If you thaw your turkey in the fridge, make sure you put it in a pan with edges, and thaw it on the bottom shelf. That way, any juices from the meat won’t cross contaminate with other foods.
You also need to know how much time you’ll need to thaw your turkey, especially if you plan on deep frying it.
“The best way to thaw a turkey is to do it in the refrigerator. For every four to five pounds [of] turkey, you need 24 hours of thawing time in the fridge,” Pottebaum said.
Pottebaum says you can also place your turkey in a sink or tub to thaw it. Make sure the space has been thoroughly cleaned, and that you give the bird 30 minutes of thawing time per pound–changing the water out every half hour. If you can find a way to wrap the turkey in a material to keep water out, even better.
“We really recommend that you don’t go more than just a couple of hours of it sitting out before it gets into the fridge. If you freeze it, that turkey’s going to last for quite a while. If it just goes in the fridge, probably about four days is the absolute max you can leave it in there,” Pottebaum said.