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Answers to the age-old question: Is it safe to stuff the turkey?

Popular Portland-based chef David Turin shared his insight and offered cooking tips ahead of the big day.

PORTLAND, Maine — One of the most common Thanksgiving questions is whether to stuff the turkey. First and foremost, is it safe?

David Turin, chef and owner of David’s Restaurant, told NEWS CENTER Maine he does not recommend filling your turkey with stuffing. But if you do, there is a safe way to do it without risking salmonella. 

The trick is to cook your stuffing ahead of time and stuff the bird during the last stages of cooking. 

These are his instructions:

“Cook your turkey at a lower temperature. I suggest 325 degrees or even 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes per pound. You just allow enough time and cover the turkey the whole time until 30 minutes before, and cook the stuffing separately," Turin instructed. 

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"When the stuffing is hot, also over 165 degrees, you can scoop the hot stuffing into the bird for the last 30 minutes while the turkey is basically completely cooked. Then you uncover it and put it in a 350-degree oven, maybe with a little milk and butter on the skin and crisp it all up and you will have a beautiful turkey. It will look like you cooked it with the stuffing inside and everyone will be safe, and you can eat your turkey for days.”

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The restaurant owner recommends using a thermometer when cooking the turkey. It needs to reach 165 degrees at the fattest part of the thigh.

The CDC also recommends stuffing should be prepared ahead of time.

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