Five tips for preparing Thanksgiving turkey

Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is sharing its top five tips for preparing the perfect Thanksgiving turkey and offering signature recipes using turkey leftovers.

“As the voice for Ohio’s turkey farmers, we are honored to share our expert cooking and food safety tips during the Thanksgiving season and year-round,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to recognize not only the substantial impact turkey (production) has on the Ohio economy, but the nutritional value turkey provides to consumers nationwide.”

 Ohio turkey experts recommend these five tips for preparing the perfect turkey:

  1. When purchasing the perfect turkey, allow one pound of turkey per person for a fresh or frozen bird. This will provide enough for dinner and sufficient leftovers.
  2. If using a frozen turkey, allow approximately 24 hours for every four pounds of bird weight for thawing in the refrigerator. Cook within four days of thawing.
  3. Plan to cook the Thanksgiving turkey for 20 minutes per pound in a 325 degree oven for a defrosted or fresh turkey.
  4. Remove turkey from the oven when a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees  at the breast and 175 degrees at the thigh.
  5. Let turkey stand for 20 minutes after removing from the oven before carving to allow juices to set.

Did you know

  • High in protein, naturally low in fat and available in a variety of cuts, turkey satisfies appetites while providing immune-boosting nutrients including iron, zinc and potassium. A three-ounce serving of boneless, skinless turkey breast contains 26 grams of protein, one gram of fat and zero grams of saturated fat.
  • Ohio ranks ninth nationally in turkey production with more than 236 million pounds of turkey produced each year. In 2016, the value of turkey produced in Ohio was nearly $196 million.
  • Ohio turkey farmers are committed to providing safe, affordable food for consumers and caring for their flocks and the environment during the holidays and all year-long.

OPA also shared two recipes for using leftover turkey: Turkey Sweet Potato Hash with Egg and Turkey-Vegetable Hash Brown Quiche.

For more information and additional recipes, visit or