Hosting Thanksgiving

We are hosting our first Thanksgiving at our house this year, so I will be roasting my first turkey. I probably should have done a “trial run”, but I didn’t know what we would have done with all the leftovers. Anyways, I’ve been scouring the internet for advice, how-to pages, and the like trying to get a grasp on how to cook a turkey. It seems that there are a lot of discrepancies when it comes to “how long” to cook it. I have a 21 pound turkey. Some sites say it will take 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours to cook. Other sites say it will take up to 7 hours to cook. I find this discrepancy a bit strange. I’ve decided that it may be due to the fact that a turkey may not be completely thawed out. Supposedly, if a turkey is still frozen, it can take up to 50% longer to cook as it would if it had been thawed out completely. I’ve decided to not rely on the time, but I will allow for about 6 hours for it to cook. I’ve invested in an oven safe thermometer, and when the internal temperature reaches 180, I will call it done. Now that’s another discrepancy I’ve found… some sites say 165, others say 180 degrees F. I think I’ll go with 180, since that’s the “safe” temperature listed for poultry on my thermometer. And when things don’t go right, I hope that there are pizza places open on Thanksgiving so we don’t go hungry. 🙂

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