Traveling with a Turkey? We're here to help.
Last night in the midst of another run to the store for a few last minute grocery items, I tossed spices, unsalted butter, flour and an extra bag of potatoes in my cart (as one can never have too many potatoes). As my cart rolled past a display of aluminum foil pans, it dawned on me that for the first time ever, I will be transporting a turkey from my home to someone else's home. In a way, I suppose I'll be acting as a chauffeur for the turkey, as I escort it from point A to point B.
Did I mention that the turkey will be cooked? That this is the first turkey I'll have ever cooked in my life? It will be transported as a whole, roasted, uncarved turkey, and it weighs about 15 pounds.
When I offered to make this turkey, I hadn't thought about the three flights of stairs I would be lugging the turkey up and down, that the turkey would remain uncarved or that somehow a 15-pound turkey would feel much heavier in comparison to the ten pounds of potatoes I just purchased. I'm sure those of you in major cities can relate to the struggle, especially if your buildings lack elevators.
After researching on Pinterest, I polled a few facebook friends and family to see if they had advice. Most suggested transporting the turkey in a cooler as this will both keep the turkey contained and keep it warm for traveling a short distance of about 10 miles. This solution is also much easier to lug down the stairs than a roasting pan. Better Homes and Gardens cautions not to transport a cook and stuffed turkey. A turkey should be transported without stuffing, and should meet these criteria: turkey thigh is 180 degrees F internal temperature, that the breast is 170 degrees F, and that the juices run clear. The safest way to transport is to cook the turkey, let sit for twenty minutes and then carve. After that, pack up the carved meat and move to a cooler. A turkey should NOT be partially cooked, transported and then finished cooking - as bacteria grow quickly in warmth, which could lead to food poisoning. For more information, check out these tips from the experts at BHG. Hopefully, these turkey transport tips will come in handy!
Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving!
- Whitney Bashaw