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To Stuff the Turkey or Not to Stuff?


Growing up in my parents’ house, my mom always stuffed the turkey with the traditional sage dressing. When I got married and my wife and I would go to my in-laws’ house, my mother in-law never stuffed her turkey. She always baked her dressing separately. I must confess they were both moist and tender. The only difference was the cooking time.

If you must stuff your turkey, take great care to cook everything to safe temperatures.

  • It’s essential to check the temperature of the stuffing as well as the turkey. The stuffing must reach a temperature of at least 170 degrees F. This may mean the turkey should reach a temperature of 180 degrees F.
  • Do not stuff the turkey ahead of time!
  • Pack the stuffing loosely, so it will cook thoroughly inside the bird.

If cooking separately, we recommend that you cook both your turkey and stuffing each to 170 degrees F.

To guarantee your stuffing and turkey are at a safe temperature, just ask the friendly folks at the Meat Department for a red poultry pop up timer—at no additional charge. And please feel free to ask them any cooking questions you may have on your mind. At Festival, we’re here to help!

We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!

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