Thanksgiving Cooking Tips: Turkey FAQs and Food Safety Guidelines

Safety tips from the Stoughton Fire Department and FAQs for how to cook a turkey.

The Stoughton Fire Department’s Facebook page offered these food preparation fire safety tips last Thanksgiving, asking residents to “cook with caution” during the holiday season:

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire:

  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • When in doubt, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 after you leave.
FAQs: How to Cook a Turkey

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline has been answering consumer questions related to holiday meals for over 25 years.

Click on the link for the USDA’s “Turkey FUNdamentals: Top Questions for Cooking a Turkey”:


Frequently asked questions include:

  • How long will it take to cook two turkeys at the same time?
  • How long will it take to cook a turkey weighing over 25 lbs?
  • If a turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator do you still need to use a thermometer?
  • Is it safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state?
  • Can you call the Meat & Poultry Hotline on Thanksgiving Day?

Additional tips from Butterball can be found here:



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