[Sca-cooks] The 50th annual SCA-Cooks Thanksgiving list!

Celia des Archier celiadesarchier at cox.net
Wed Nov 22 19:37:39 PST 2006

On Nov 21, 2006, at 9:58 AM, Sandra Kisner wrote:

>> (Of course, I also <GASP!>
>> stuff the bird, but I do the stuffing ahead and make sure it's  
>> cool before
>> stuffing the bird for safety's sake and guess I just grew up wrong  
>> 'cause I
>> prefer it that way.)
>> Celia
> I thought you were supposed to prepare the stuffing at the last  
> minute so
> it was still hot when you put it in the turkey (and then straight  
> into the
> oven) so it would spend less time in the danger zone.  If it's  
> already hot
> it will only heat further when you roast the stuffed bird.  Have I  
> heard
> incorrectly?

And Adamantius answered:
<<The standard wisdom for cooking and/or holding such things is to  
consider the stuffed bird an aggregate, solid mass. A cold or semi- 
frozen raw bird can do weird things if hot stuffing is placed inside  
it, and one thing it can do is acquire some portion at a mean  
temperature within the "danger zone". Your best bet is probably a  
fully thawed bird (if it was ever frozen), and stuffing that is at  
least partially cooled, if not cold.>>

That was my understanding.  My food handler training taught that putting hot
stuffing into a cold bird was a good way to ensure that any bacteria in the
bird transferred to the stuffing (which will end up warm and in the "danger
zone" way before the bird gets hot enough to kill that bacteria.)  So I was
taught to make sure that the stuffing was actually *cold* when it went into
the cold bird.  

And in my experience the stuffing has never been in the danger zone when
removed from the bird, nor has the bird dried out.  There is generally a
good portion of the stuffing which is crunchy (which is, IMO, a benefit, as
I like it that way) and I always cook in a cooking bag, so that may be part
of the reason the stuffing is always at the right temperature.  

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