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How To Cook A Turkey: 7 Tips From Butterball University

The Associated Press   11/24/09 07:07 AM ET  AP

Some turkey-making tidbits from the experts at Butterball's Turkey Talk-Line:

_ Don't let turkey juices spill onto other things, like countertops, to prevent contamination. Clean it and anything it touches, quickly.

_ Use separate cutting boards for vegetables and raw meat, and another one just for cooked food.

_ Buy a pound and a half of turkey per person, if you want leftovers.

_ Make sure to leave enough time for thawing, which can take days depending on bird size and thawing method. You can keep a thawed turkey in the fridge for up to four days before cooking.

_ Put vegetables like onions and carrots in the pan while you roast.

_ Use a meat thermometer to determine when your turkey is done. Thigh temperatures must measure at least 180 degrees. Even if the meat is slightly pink, that's fine as long as the temperature measures up.

_ Store your cooked turkey in the fridge when the meal is done. Don't keep it at room temperature for longer than two hours.

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Filed by Alex Leo  |