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Turkey--stuffed or unstuffed?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
So I just bought my 15 pound Butterball (thawing in the fridge as I type) and I have started thinking about whether I am going to stuff it or not. I never have--I always just roast the bird and cook the stuffing on the side. My mom ALWAYS stuffed the turkey, but one year we all got really sick with food poisoning, so I am nervous about it. But the way my mom did it (leaving the bird out way too long, taking forever to stuff it with her cornbread stuffing that was all goopy with eggs and) I think may have been the reason for the food poisoning.

I am tempted to try this again, but am afraid at the same time I would never want to make my family sick, obviously! But I think my stuffing is often dry, and it would probably be better stuffed in the bird. I use various stuffing recipes--from bread stuffing (with sausage and apples) to cornbread stuffing--but it just isn't that great. My last batch last year was cornbread and was Paula Deen's recipe--but I did not stuff it in the bird like she does.

What do you do?
Thanks,
Lisa
P.S. Paula Deen does freak me out a bit. She reminds me of my mom--southern, loves everything deep fried, and everything has to be a sexual inuendo. Sort of gives me the heebie jeebies, you know?
post #2 of 51
the idea of eating stuffing that has been in a bird makes my skin crawl.

I prefer to make it in a separate pan and just have gravy.

paula dean aggravates me to no end. I want to push her off a cliff.
post #3 of 51
I do not stuff.

My mom does.
post #4 of 51
I don't stuff either. I imagine it can taste very good that way, but I'm a little afraid. about Paula Deen. I get a kick out of her
post #5 of 51
USDA has said for years now that unstuffed is the way to go.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...fing/index.asp
post #6 of 51
Definitely cook the stuffing separately. At best, stuffing that's been in the bird will come out soggy. At worst, food poisoning. Belch...not my idea of a good holiday. JMHO.
post #7 of 51
Okaay. Well this thread hasn't helped my belief that turkey is a dirty bird and I don't want to eat it or make it for Thanksgiving. Dh wants one though......deep sigh. All I can think about is food poisioning during dinner.
post #8 of 51
I always stuff. We never get sick. The stuffing is never gooey and mushy. It all depends on how much stock you use when making the stuffing.

Do not stuff the bird until right before you put it into the oven. Allow additional cooking time as stuffed birds take longer to cook.

Make sure - if you use sausage in the stuffing - or any other meat, that it is cooked all thoroughly before putting it in the mix and in the bird.

Stuffing not cooked in the turkey is a sacrilege I tell ya!! It just should not be allowed!
post #9 of 51
jillkuster
as long as you don't stuff it, and cook it to the right temperature it should be fine. the problem with stuffing is that it does not get cooked to a high enough temperature to kill food borne bacteria. if you cook the stuffed bird long enough to get the stuffing to temperature, the turkey meat will be really dry. but if you DH wants one, and you don't, why doesn't he cook it?

alton brown did a show where he stuffed a chicken, but he heated the stuffing in the microwave first to give it a head start on cooking
post #10 of 51
Unstuffed. Can't you just add more moisture to your stuffing?
post #11 of 51
But if you DH wants one, and you don't, why doesn't he cook it?

I see that we are not from the same world.
Why doesn't he cook it........: That would be the day.
post #12 of 51
Stuffed. We always have extra stuffing that doesn't go in the bird, but we mix it all up when we take the stuffing out. Stuffing from inside the bird just tastes better. My mom's been doing it this way ever since she started cooking turkeys (when my brother was a baby - he's 45), and I've been doing it for about 15 years. We've never had any problems with food poisoning.
post #13 of 51
Stuff it. Stuffing in a pan can't even begin to compare even if you drench it in chicken broth. But then again I never worry too much about food poisoning. My husband and I both have stomachs of steel.
post #14 of 51
Stuff it. Mmmmmmm. Way better. My mother (who always does the cooking) does some both ways 'cause otherwise there isn't enough and the stuff out of the bird is head and shoulders above. And we've never had anyone get sick.
post #15 of 51
I hate the stuffing in the bird. Plus we always bbq our turkey and you can't stuff it when it's bbq'd anyway.
post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 
So we have the stuffers and unstuffers. It seems like the unstuffers are winning at this point
post #17 of 51
Add me to the stuffers gang!

We have never had an issue with food poisoning by stuffing it first. I always cook my bird at 200-250 for 8 hours. I baste it every 45 minutes, and have never had an issue with a dry bird or over moist stuffing.

I have a friend who does hers 2 different ways depending on the size of the turkey and her stuffing ingrediants. She either stuffs it first and then when the bird is done, unstuffs it, and bakes the stuffing for 15-20 more minutes in a dish in the oven along with with her green bean casserole. Or she doesnt stuff it til an hour before it is done, which she says is harder to do, but works well when she does her oyster stuffing, so that way the oysters dont get gooey.
post #18 of 51
unstuffed....... i dont feel comfy eating something from the inside of its butt

plus, according to alton brown, it increases the risk of salmonella. I'd rather stuff it with herbes to infuse into the turkey and make stuffing on the side.
post #19 of 51
I don't eat stuffing at all.
post #20 of 51
Unstuffed.

Stuffing kinda grosses me out anyway...
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