- A pre-basted bird contains ingredients such as vegetable oil, broth, and spices.
- An un-basted bird has had nothing added.
USDA Grade A poultry has good shape, structure, and fat covering, and is free of pinfeathers and defects, such as cuts and bruises. Grade A is the highest quality grade for poultry and is the most common grade found in stores.
- 8-12 pounds defrosts in 1 to 2 days
- 12-16 pounds defrosts in 2 to 3 days
- 16-20 pounds defrosts in 3 to 4 days
- 20-24 pounds defrosts in 4 to 5 days
- Using a meat thermometer is the most reliable method. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh muscle without touching the bone. This area heats most slowly. A whole turkey is done when the temperature reaches 180 to 185 degrees; stuffing temperature should reach 165 degrees.
- Another test is to press the fleshy part of the thigh with protected fingers. If the meat feels soft, or if the leg moves up and down easily and the hip joint gives readily or breaks, the turkey is done.
- Doneness can also be determined by inserting a long-tined fork into the thickest area of the inner thigh. If the juices run clear—not pink—the turkey is done.