The 3 Most Important Thanksgiving Questions You'll Have This Holiday – Answered!

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show Aired November 06, 2015

Whether it’s your first time preparing Thanksgiving dinner, or you’ve done it a million times, you no doubt have a question or two about improving the process! Chef Marc Murphy and Rach are breaking it down for you, and answering your most common questions!

Question #1: How Do You Know When the Turkey Is Done?

Marc’s answer has multiple parts. First, he stresses that you need to check the thigh meat of the turkey, and you want it to be about 160 degrees. Marc also shares a tip – he cooks the turkey in multiple parts. He takes the bird out, removes the leg and thigh, and pops it back in the oven to finish cooking while he slices the breast.

Rachael also suggests roasting the turkey parts separately from the beginning – you can even buy the pieces already split, and that way you can have extra legs, or thighs, or whatever is your family’s favorite!

Ahead of time, make sure your instant-read thermometer is accurate! An easy way to test this is to stick it into a pot of boiling water, if it reads around 212, you’re good! Also use a simple oven thermometer to make sure that your stove is cooking true to temperature.

One final piece of turkey advice from Mark -- don’t take the bird straight from the fridge to the oven. It has to sit out for 45 minutes to an hour to come to room temperature.

Question #2: Should You Cook the Stuffing Inside or Outside the Turkey?

The eternal debate – do you cook the stuffing inside or outside of the turkey? For food safety reasons, Marc stresses that if you cook your stuffing inside the bird, you still have to finish it in the oven to make sure it cooks fully.

Question #3: How Do You Make Sure Everything is Ready at the Same Time?

How to Time Out Your Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule

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Marc suggests doing easy sides that can be prepped in advance, and just put in the oven to heat up. Another option is to tent your turkey with foil, then cover with a bath towel, which will keep it warm for an hour or more. Then, take that time to make any sides that need to cook in the oven.

Did we cover your most pressing Thanksgiving question? If not, ask below!

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