5 Myths About Cooking Your Turkey
By Virginia Laird
After you have selected the largest turkey you can find to feed your family, the stress of preparing it can be at an all new high. There are many concerns about cooking turkeys that can affect your health. All the "facts" about cooking the turkey can be intimidating. Before you decided to throw in the fork on your family’s Thanksgiving meal, make sure you know the truth vs. the myths when it comes to cooking your bird.
Myth: You Must Always Wash Your Turkey Prior to Cooking It
Not only is this a myth, but it has been proven to be harmful to wash the turkey prior to cooking. Many wrongly believe that washing the turkey can help wash away harmful bacteria. Research suggests that such bacteria is impossible to simply wash away. It is also recommended that the handler of the raw turkey should wash their hands immediately after touching the turkey to prevent the spread of the bacteria to other foods. Such bacteria can cause food poisoning and other foodborne illnesses.
Myth: There is No Need to Thaw the Turkey Completely Before Cooking
When the turkey is not thoroughly thawed it can be nearly impossible for the bird to cook evenly and well in its entirety. Furthermore, health experts suggest the safest way to thaw a turkey is to set it in the fridge for 24 hours prior to cooking it. Some would argue that setting the turkey on the counter or in warm water can help it to thaw more quickly. Please be advised that research has proven both methods to increase the chances of growing bacteria which have a direct link to food poisoning and other health issues for the consumer.
Myth: A Stuffed Turkey Will Not Cook All the Way
Although the idea for many is that cooking with the bird pre-stuffed can cause food poisoning, this is simply not the case. Health experts suggest checking both the temperature of the bird and the stuffing before determining if it is cooked well. Checking the temperature is the only sure way to know when the turkey and stuffing are ready to be eaten.
Myth: Basting Frequently is the Only Way to Keep the Turkey Moist
While you may have watched your mother or grandmother spend precious time basting the turkey, there is little research that supports the idea that basting keeps the turkey moist or adds flavor. Chefs far and wide suggest that opening the oven too often can tamper with the cooking temperature. Save yourself some time and energy by skipping this step this year.
Myth: Leftovers Can Sit Out Until After Everyone has Completely Finished Eating
One thing many families are guilty of is letting the leftovers sit out far too long. Health experts suggest that leaving the leftovers out for more than a couple of hours can increase the odds of growing bacteria in the food. Since many serve these same foods the following day, it is wise to pack up the leftovers the first minute possible after eating.
Following the advice of chefs and health experts can help you avoid food poisoning from crashing your Thanksgiving dinner. Happy cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Augusta, Ga.