Stuffing Your Turkey: Just Don’t Do It

Stuffing Your Turkey: Just Don’t Do It

When it comes to turkey, stuffing is evil. That’s because stuffing goes into the middle of the bird and is extremely porous. That means as the turkey around it cooks, juices that may contain salmonella bacteria soak into the stuffing, which then must be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees F in order to be safe.

Getting the stuffing to this temperature usually means overcooking the turkey. They way I see it, cooking stuffing inside a turkey turns the turkey into a rather costly seal-a-meal bag.

If you’re a stuffing fan, I suggest cooking it separately (in which case it’s “dressing,” not stuffing) and inserting it into the bird while it rests (to collect the turkey juices). Odds are no one will notice the difference.

If you absolutely have to stuff the bird, follow my recipe here.


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  1. 1

    Been stuffing turkeys for years without incident or dry turkey. I baste it, too. My mom’s been doing it that way too. Never had an issue, no one’s ever gotten sick, and it’s alwsys brown, crispy and moist. It’s not the same taste outside the bird, and you don’t get much of the drippings in it when you shove it in the last few minutes. I say “Yes!!!” to basting AND stuffing.

  2. 2

    As I know it, in the NOW, HOW can the juices from a turkey PERMEATE the stuffing, when the cavities RIB CAGE is surrounded by a MEMBRANE, which is NOT porous!
    And, conversely, HOW can the aromatics FROM stuffing rise to permeate the MEAT of the turkey, when it is going to be BLOCKED by that SAME membrane?

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