Turkey Prep TIps

Nancy Bennett, M.S., R.D., C.D.E, Foster Farms' nutritionist joined with great  tips for savoring the holiday season with nutritious turkey meals and turkey prep tips.

You'll find Nancy's recipe for Citrus Turkey on our recipes page.

  • Watch out for some poultry brands that plump their turkey! A serving of fresh, natural turkey should contain no more than 100mg of sodium.
  • Foster Farms provides consumers hundreds of delicious turkey recipes, nutrition advice and cooking tips on its website,
  • Don’t let your guests go hungry – This is the cardinal rule for Thanksgiving. Estimate 1 – 1.5 lbs. of turkey per person.
  • Buy extra so you can have yummy leftovers for the next day.

Avoid a Turkey-cicle – There are two methods for defrosting turkey,

  • in the ‘fridge (less effort, more time)
  • or in a cold water bath (shorter time, more work).

 Whichever method you choose, make sure you allow for enough time for the turkey to thaw completely.

Turkey Weight            In the ‘Fridge           Cold Water*
8-12 lbs.                          1-2 days                4-6 hours
12-16 lbs.                        2-3 days                6-9 hours
16-20 lbs.                        3-4 days                9-11 hours
20-24 lbs.                        4-5 days               11-12 hours

* Change water every 30 minutes.

Keep it covered –The breast cooks faster than the other parts of the turkey. To prevent uneven cooking – or messy splatters that can be a fire hazard - loosely cover the breast with foil and uncover during the last hour of cooking.


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