Turkey Cooking Guide: How to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving bird

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(Photo: Allrecipes, Meredith) (Photo: Allrecipes, Meredith)

(Meredith) – Turkey. For 364 days of the year, it's just another bird. But on Thanksgiving, it’s everyone’s favorite fowl.

Cooking that deliciously delectable main course can be a bit of a hassle, and that’s why Allrecipes.com is here to help. They have a handy guide to make sure that bird is well-done, cooked thoroughly, and ready for everyone’s dinner plate.

How long should I cook a turkey?

Allrecipes.com says to keep this the general rule in mind: 20 minutes per pound, but that can vary depending on whether or not your turkey is stuffed. Of course, the best way to know if your turkey is cooked to a safe temperature is to use a meat thermometer.

[Think you're a turkey expert? Take our quiz and find out!]

They’ve also included a handy chart to determine approximately how long to cook a stuffed or unstuffed turkey.

Click Here To View The Chart On Allrecipes.com.

[Related: Frequently Asked Questions about Thanksgiving]

Turkey Tips

Allrecipes.com has five easy tips for roasting turkey, including:

  1. Cook the turkey until the skin is a light golden color, and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin.
  2. Basting will not make turkey moister, but will promote even browning of the skin. To get tender and moist turkey meat, try brining it.
  3. If your turkey has been stuffed, it is important to check the temperature of the dressing; it should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).

Want the last two tips? Click Here To See Them!

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What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Turkey!
Pumpkin Pie!
Mashed Potatoes!
Stuffing!