It’s turkey time: your guide to buying, stuffing & cooking your turkey

It’s turkey time! Read the Deal Diva’s tips for saving on & serving the best turkey yet.
It’s turkey time! Read the Deal Diva’s tips for saving on & serving the best turkey yet. Getty Images/Creatas RF

Purchase one (1) pound of raw turkey per person plus you will have just enough leftovers.

Be sure you have a pan that fits your bird. Going disposable is always a great way to avoid any messy clean up

“Young” on the label can be deceiving. All turkeys sold to retailers are young, According to USDA regulations, a "young" turkey is a turkey of either sex that is less than 8 months old most turkeys available now are between the ages of 4 to 5 months of age.

“No Hormones Added” While this may make shoppers feel good - the USDA mandates that hormones are not approved for use in the production of turkey in the U.S.

Frozen or Fresh? Frozen turkeys are frozen almost immediately while fresh turkeys may have sat around a few days waiting to be purchased. If you have the time – go frozen

Best Way to defrost your Turkey:

Refrigerator Method: Thaw it its original plastic wrapper and avoid contamination of the refrigerators other food items by placing your turkey on a platter or pan that will contain the juices. A good rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours per 5 pounds of turkey. Place turkey in the coldest area of your refrigerator. Use a meat thermometer to check for the ideal temperature of 40- 45°F

In a pinch a frozen turkey can be quickly thawed in cold water. Leave in the original wrapping and change the water every so often so that it remains cold. Allow 30 minutes per pound if you use this method. Again use a meat thermometer to determine that the temperature is between 40- 45°F.

Time for the oven! Most recipes suggest removing the wrapping and blotting the turkey with a paper towel and baking at 325 degrees.

Here are the recommended cooking times from Butterball:

Unstuffed Turkey

4 to 8 pounds.............1-1/2 to 3-1/4 hours

8 to 12 pounds................2-3/4 to 3 hours

12 to 14 pounds...............3 to 3-3/4 hours

14 to 18 pounds...............3-3/4 to 4-1/4 hours

18 to 20 pounds...............4-1/4 to 4-1/2 hours

20 to 24 pounds...............4-1/2 to 5 hours

Stuffed Turkey

8 to 12 pounds................3 to 3-1/2 hours

12 to 14 pounds...............3-1/2 to 4 hours

14 to 18 pounds...............4 to 4-1/4 hours

18 to 20 pounds...............4-1/4 to 4-3/4 hours

20 to 24 pounds...............4-3/4 to 5-1/4 hours

Still have questions? Feel free to visit the Butterball website for great advice, recipes and even a few coupons! Or call the famous Butterball Help Line (800-288-8372)

This Week’s Turkey Deals

Frozen Turkeys

Food Lion - $.67, per lb, limit 2 - Minimum $35 purchase

Publix - $.59 per lb,

Harris Teeter - $.99 per lb, Limit 2 (watch for a possible e-VIC this weekend!)

Bi-Lo - $.75 per lb,

Butterball Frozen Turkeys

Be sure to check out the Mail in Rebate Offer $3 off your Butterball turkey

Target - $.99 per lb,

Publix - $1.09 per lb, limit 2 $1.29 lb wyb more than (2)

Harris Teeter - $1.39 per lb

Lowe's Foods -$. 99 per lb limit 1Limit 1 per household with additional $35 purchase thru Nov. 26th

Ingles- $1.08 per lb Limit 1 per $25 purchase