It is unsafe to stuff the turkey ahead of time. The chilled stuffing in the turkey will not reach a safe temperature before the turkey is done. To be safe the turkey should reach a temperature of 180 degrees F. and the stuffing in the body cavity of the bird should reach 165 degrees F. It's fine to make the crumbs or bread cubes ahead, but the stuffing should not be completely prepared ahead if it will be used to stuff a turkey. If the stuffing is to be baked in a casserole, it can be prepared in advance and chilled. The baking time will need to be increased by about 15 to 20 minutes.
How much stuffing do I need to fill the turkey?
Allow about 3/4 cup stuffing for each pound of ready-to-cook turkey. For example, a 12-pound bird will hold about 9 cups stuffing. If your family loves stuffing, you may want to make extra stuffing to bake in a casserole beside the turkey.
My stuffing recipe calls for dry bread cubes; how do I make them?
Cut bread into 1/2-inch pieces. Spread in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Bake in a 300 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until dry, stirring twice. Cool. (Or, let cubes stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.)
If I need 8 cups of dry bread cubes, how much bread should I use?
You'll need 12 to 14 slices of bread for 8 cups of dry cubes.
Why do recipes say to spoon the stuffing into turkey loosely?
Stuffing will expand as it roasts. If stuffing is too tightly packed, it will not reach a safe temperature by the time the turkey is done.
How do I get crumbled corn bread?
Prepare a basic corn bread recipe from your Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook or prepare a packaged corn muffin or corn bread mix according to package directions. Cool and crumble. You should be able to get about 5 cups from a 10 ounce prepared mix.
Decide how much sugar to use according to how sweet you like your corn bread.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup cooking oil or shortening, melted
1. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture; set aside.
3. In another bowl combine the eggs, milk, and cooking oil or melted shortening. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened.
4. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 or 9 servings.
Make-Ahead Tip: Wrap in heavy foil and freeze for up to 1 month.
My stuffing recipe calls for poultry seasoning and I'm out; what can I use?
Use 3/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed, and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed, or dried marjoram, crushed, for each teaspoon of poultry seasoning used in the recipe.
Continued on page 3: General Cooking Questions