Turkey--stuffed or unstuffed? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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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.
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#3 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:32 AM
 
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I do not stuff.

My mom does.
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#4 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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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

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#5 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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USDA has said for years now that unstuffed is the way to go.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...fing/index.asp

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#6 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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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.
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#7 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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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!

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#9 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 01:14 AM
 
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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
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#10 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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Unstuffed. Can't you just add more moisture to your stuffing?
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#11 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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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.
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#12 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 02:14 AM
 
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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.

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#13 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 02:21 AM
 
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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.
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#14 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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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.

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#15 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 02:28 AM
 
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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.
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#16 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So we have the stuffers and unstuffers. It seems like the unstuffers are winning at this point
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#17 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:14 AM
 
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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.
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#18 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:17 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:20 AM
 
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I don't eat stuffing at all.
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#20 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:21 AM
 
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Unstuffed.

Stuffing kinda grosses me out anyway...
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#21 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:24 AM
 
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My mom alway stuffed it and we never had any issues with food poisoning. And I have to say, she is very lax about that kind of stuff.

I actually don't like the stuffing from inside the turkey, and since Thanksgiving is at my house and I cook the turkey, I realllly don't want to stuff it. But last year when I mentioned it my sister had a freak out - apparently she just really loves the stuffing from inside the turkey. We bake stuffing on the side and it is never dry - I mix it with eggs and milk and baste it with turkey drippings along the way. Yummy!

But Alton Brown (among others) bring up the point that a stuffed turkey has to be cooked longer, which can dry out the turkey meat.

I'm torn about what to do. I don't want to stuff it, but I don't want to deal with a hissy fit by my sister on Thanksgiving about how we don't care about her or her preferences, blah blah blah.
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#22 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
I'm torn about what to do. I don't want to stuff it, but I don't want to deal with a hissy fit by my sister on Thanksgiving about how we don't care about her or her preferences, blah blah blah.
tell her you do care about her, and thats why you refuse to cook it inside the turkey, since you dont want her to get food poisioning, nor the rest of your family.
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#23 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 03:53 AM
 
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Oceanbaby, I remember the TG drama with your sister from last year. Tell her she can make her own damn turkey if it's that important to her.
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#24 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 04:02 AM
 
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un stuffed but make the stuffing on the side. Okay is it even stuffing then? Would it be 'dressing' or is that something else all together?

Can you tell dh does most of the cooking. Me I bake.:

Pax, loving wife since 2001, Mother of DD1 (11 1/2) and DD2 (8). Entering our 4th year of Homeschooling: Eclectic mix of curriculum and child interest lead. Backyard urban chicken chasers. 10/2014 items purged.
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#25 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 04:34 AM
 
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I love stuffing, but it has to be cooked on the side. I don't see the point in risking food poisoning, that's a really easy way to ruin a holiday!

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#26 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 04:44 AM
 
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I do dressing on the side, not stuffing. However, I do season and put onions, celery (sometimes), and herbs inside the cavity. I also like to rub the outside with sage butter, and underneath the skin, as well.
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#27 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 04:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texaspeach View Post
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.
: :
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#28 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 05:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
My mom alway stuffed it and we never had any issues with food poisoning. And I have to say, she is very lax about that kind of stuff.

I actually don't like the stuffing from inside the turkey, and since Thanksgiving is at my house and I cook the turkey, I realllly don't want to stuff it. But last year when I mentioned it my sister had a freak out - apparently she just really loves the stuffing from inside the turkey. We bake stuffing on the side and it is never dry - I mix it with eggs and milk and baste it with turkey drippings along the way. Yummy!

But Alton Brown (among others) bring up the point that a stuffed turkey has to be cooked longer, which can dry out the turkey meat.
I agree, no stuffing!

A turkey won't hold the amount of dressing we consume. My Granny's cornbread dressing is the Mana of the Gods.

Quote:
I'm torn about what to do. I don't want to stuff it, but I don't want to deal with a hissy fit by my sister on Thanksgiving about how we don't care about her or her preferences, blah blah blah.
Not stuff it and tell her to make her own turkey if she is going to make such a fuss.

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#29 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 05:25 AM
 
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Outside the bird.
Which means I can get the bird in the oven, peel my potatoes, go take a shower, and then throw together the stuffing (things pre chopped the day before) to cook/prep on the stovetop and then ready to throw in the oven with the pies and a casserole or whatever when the turkey's out resting. I don't plan to get up until 8am (at the earliest) on Thanksgiving day, and so far our people count is up to 12.

Oh, the stuffing recipe I use is an Apple Onion Stuffin' (Muffin) recipe from Rachael Ray. I may not be fond of her, but the recipe is great. And I'm lazy and just throw it all into a 13x9x2" baking dish rather than muffins, turns out great - even reheated it's not dry that I remember, and if it did, just sprinkle on some chicken stock until rehydrated again - easy peasy. Goes well with the fresh cider and apple pie and whatnot, too.

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#30 of 51 Old 11-19-2007, 05:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lmonter View Post

Oh, the stuffing recipe I use is an Apple Onion Stuffin' (Muffin) recipe from Rachael Ray. I may not be fond of her, but the recipe is great. And I'm lazy and just throw it all into a 13x9x2" baking dish rather than muffins, turns out great - even reheated it's not dry that I remember, and if it did, just sprinkle on some chicken stock until rehydrated again - easy peasy. Goes well with the fresh cider and apple pie and whatnot, too.
If the dressing accidentally turns out dry that's what gravy is for anyways.

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