Turkey with stuffing

Getty Images

To Stuff or Not To Stuff

That is the big turkey question

November 22, 2019

Should you cook your stuffing inside the bird or outside? Well first, if it’s done IN the turkey, it is called stuffing, because you do indeed stuff it into the cavity of the turkey. If you do it OUTSIDE the turkey, then you call it dressing. 

Whether it’s bread stuffing or Wild rice dressing. Cornbread, sourdough or oyster. Traditional or wildly modern, it’s a staple to the Thanksgiving table.

The big concern is, of course, salmonella and other not-so-lovely bacterias that we do not wish at our holiday table. Conventional wisdom is to cook the dressing in a dish outside the bird entirely. But then you miss out on the “presentation” of the turkey and stuffing that makes for the grand entrance of the bird on a platter. And some of us have traditionalists at the table that will whine and fuss if the turkey isn’t stuffed! 

Everyone wants the stuffing to be lovely and fluffy and flavorful from all the lovely turkey juices. But all those lovely juices tend to make the stuffing gooey and gummy. And if you cook the stuffing in the bird, you should make sure the internal temp of the stuffing is 165 degrees and that means the turkey itself will be at higher temp and that could make for a dry bird and no one wants that!

Now several websites suggest cooking the dressing outside the bird and loosely inserting it into the bird while it rests to collect the turkey juices. Then bringing it all to the table in all its “stuffed” glory letting everyone believe that dressing has been stuffing all the time. It makes more a terrific photo op!

So whether you stuff or dress, have rice or muffins, just enjoy the day with family and friends and give thanks for all the joys in your life and know that I am thankful for you!

Send me YOUR family recipes, stories and photos you want to share to: VsFoodBlog@thesoundseattle.com