Stuffing Your Turkey

Basic turkey stuffing questions answered.

Southern Cornbread Stuffing.

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Southern Cornbread Stuffing.

Q: Should I stuff my turkey?

A: Stuffing cooked inside the turkey cavities is delicious, but it does slow down the cooking time and could be a potential health hazard if done incorrectly. For perfect no-worry results, opt for "dressing" instead – stuffing cooked alongside the bird instead of inside. Try making Cornbread Dressing with Pancetta, Apples, and Mushrooms.

Q: Can I use raw ingredients in my stuffing?

A: No. All stuffing ingredients – meat, vegetables, etc. – should be cooked before they are placed inside the turkey.

Q: How do I stuff this turkey?

A: Stuff both the neck and the body cavities, using about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey. It should not be packed in – any extra can bake alongside in a separate dish.

Q: Is it okay to stuff the turkey the night before?

A: NO! Leaving the stuffing inside the bird overnight allows time for dangerous bacteria to grow. Place stuffing inside the turkey right before roasting.

Q: How can you tell if the stuffing is done?

A: Give stuffing a head start by heating it up before placing inside the turkey. Like the turkey, stuffing needs to reach the 165 degree mark. If the bird is done before the stuffing, removed stuffing from the cavities and continue to cook in a baking dish.

Find the perfect stuffing recipe to complete your Thanksgiving feast: Top Thanksgiving Stuffings and Dressings.

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