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Turkey How-To

The first Thanksgiving back in 1621 lasted for three days. That must have been a lot of cooking! Did you know turkey was not the main dish at the first Thanksgiving? More likely, it was venison. Today, nearly 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

Looking to cook the perfect turkey? Start by learning more about these tips from the Food Network

  • Choose the right type of turkey for you — heritage, organic, fresh or frozen.
  • Figure on 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of turkey per person.
  • Cook the turkey on a rack of vegetables.
  • By all means, brine your bird!
  • Keep the stuffing on the side.
  • Tie it up for an even cook.
  • Rub the turkey with butter or oil.
  • Skip the basting — stick with brining or buttering instead.
  • Invest in a good meat thermometer — at 160˚F it’s done.
  • Give it a rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving to lock in the juices.

Still have questions? The Butterball hotline is a great resource. You can submit your question online or call them at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372).

Here are a few of our favorite Turkey Day recipes:

Sage-Rubbed Roasted Turkey

A classic recipe for a flavorful experience.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

No need to roast an entire turkey to enjoy the healthy benefits and savory flavor.

Roasted Turkey with Smoked Paprika

Wow your guests with this sweet, smoky flavorful recipe.