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FAQ

Your questions, answered

Do you have other questions regarding your turkey?

Still have questions? Call our information line at 1-800-621-3505. Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST (excluding holidays).

Q:        How do I know when the turkey is done? 
A:          Your turkey is done when it measures 180°F as measured by a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. 

Q:        Which is best, a fresh or a frozen turkey?
A:         Most people will not be able to notice difference in flavor or quality between the two. Fresh turkeys or our OVEN READY™ frozen turkeys, may be more convenient as they do not require thawing.                       

Q:        How long will a turkey keep in the freezer?
A:         For best quality we recommend using a turkey within two years of freezing. A frozen turkey, once thawed, should be used within 3 days.

Q:        What do the lot numbers mean on my JENNIE-O® Turkey?
A:         Each turkey is coded with a lot number for traceability.  The lot number appears in the format
X XXX X. The fifth digit refers to the year the turkey was produced.
        
Q:        How long will a fresh turkey keep in the refrigerator?
A:        Cook the turkey by the “Use or Freeze by” date found on the weight tag or weight sticker. If you do not plan to use by that date, freeze the turkey immediately.
        
Q:        Can I refreeze a thawed turkey?
A:         You can refreeze a thawed turkey within 3 days of thawing only if it is unopened and has been properly defrosted in the refrigerator. More at How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey.
        
Q:         What is the best way to thaw a turkey?
A:         The best way to thaw a frozen turkey is in a sided pan in the refrigerator. Go to How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey for more details.
        
Q:        How much turkey should I buy?
A:        Go to How to Buy a Turkey for more details.
        
Q:        Do I need to baste my turkey?
A:         Basted turkeys cook up flavorful and juicy without basting. Also, repeatedly opening the oven door to baste the turkey could increase cooking time.  A non-basted turkey can be brined How to Brine a Turkey or basted.  Baste once an hour.

Q:        How do I brine a turkey?
A:        Start with a turkey that is not basted.  We recommend JENNIE-O® All Natural* Fresh Whole Turkey. Then, follow the steps outlined in How to Brine a Turkey.

Q:        Will the plastic clamp melt when I roast the turkey? How do I take it off?
A:       No. The plastic clamp is made of a heat resistant nylon designed for roasting. It is completely oven-safe and is easily removed with a kitchen scissors after roasting.

Q:        Can I grill my turkey?
A:         Yes. Go to How to Grill a Turkey (Gas) or How to Grill a Turkey (Charcoal) for more information.

Q:         While cooking a turkey can vegetables be in the same pan as the turkey?
A:          We recommend cooking your turkey separate from other dishes.
                
Q:        How long should I roast the turkey?
A:        Roast until timer pops up (if applicable) and the turkey is fully cooked, 180°F as measured by a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. ALWAYS confirm doneness with a meat thermometer. See How to Cook a Turkey for a roasting timetable.           

Q:       Can I roast two turkeys at the same time?
A:       Yes, though cooking time will increase.  ALWAYS confirm doneness with a meat thermometer, which should read 180°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. 

Q:        How soon can I carve after removing turkey from oven?
A:         We recommend letting your turkey stand 20 minutes before carving. For carving tips, go to How to Carve a Turkey.        

Q:        Is it OK to leave the leftover turkey out for people to snack on?
A:         You should remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate it in sealed containers within 2 hours of roasting.       

Q:        How long can leftovers be stored?
A:        Leftovers may be kept up to 4 days. Leftover turkey may be frozen up to 4 months. Go to How to Safely Handle Turkey for more information.                            

Q:        What are giblets?
A:         Giblets are a turkey’s gizzard, heart and liver. The giblets and neck, when cooked, are a delicious addition to gravy and stuffing. Remove the giblet and neck package inside the turkey before cooking. If you happen to forget to remove the package or neck, the turkey is still safe to eat.

Q:        Do all JENNIE-O® whole turkeys come with a giblet and neck bag?
A:         All JENNIE-O® whole turkeys come with a giblet bag with the exception of the
JENNIE-O® OVEN READY™ turkeys. The giblet and neck bag can be found inside the turkey.
        
Q:        What are self-basting turkeys?
A:         Some turkeys are sold as "basted" or "self-basted" which means a marinade usually containing natural broth, stock or water and seasoning has been added. The percentage of solution added to the turkey is printed on the package.
               
Q:        What is OVEN READY™ turkey?
A:         OVEN READY™ turkey is a whole turkey that comes in its own cooking bag that allows it to go directly from freezer to oven without thawing, cleaning or seasoning. FROM FREEZER TO OVEN TO PERFECT®  everytime.

Q:        Are OVEN READY™ turkeys  pre-cooked?
A:         OVEN READY™ turkeys are not pre-cooked. They are premium, frozen turkeys that can be found in
your grocer's freezer section.

Q:        Do I have to thaw an OVEN READYturkey?
A:         You should not thaw OVEN READY™ turkey because it comes wrapped in a cooking bag that allows it to go directly from freezer to oven. If you happen to thaw an OVEN READY™ turkey it is still safe to cook. Turkey is done cooking when your meat thermometer reaches 165°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh.

Q:        Do I have to clean an OVEN READY™ turkey?
A:         No. You do not need to clean OVEN READY™ turkey because it has already been cleaned for you. The neck and giblets have already been removed for your convenience.    

Q:        Does an OVEN READY™ turkey need to be seasoned?
A:         No. You do not need to season OVEN READY™ turkey because it comes preseasoned.

Q:        Can I stuff an OVEN READY™ turkey?
A:         We do not recommend stuffing any turkey prior to cooking. Harmful bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached a safe internal temperature; therefore, it is recommended that stuffing always be cooked separately.  If desired, place fully cooked stuffing in a fully cooked turkey.

Q:        Can I make gravy with an OVEN READY™ turkey?
A:         Yes, the cooking bag seals in the juices while cooking. These juices can be poured from the bag when the turkey is done. Use caution as steam and juices will be hot.  We have provided a gravy starter packet and instructions on the outside of the package for great-tasting turkey gravy.

Q:        How do I cook an OVEN READY™ turkey?
A:         Pre-heat your oven to 375°F. Remove the turkey from its outer package, leaving the turkey in its cooking bag and place in a roasting pan. Cut six ½-inch slits in the top of the bag and pull it up and away from the turkey to release the vacuum. Place the turkey in your oven and roast until the pop-up timer pops up and your meat thermometer reaches 165°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh.  

You can also cook the OVEN READY™ Boneless Skinless Breast in your slow cooker: Add ½ cup water to the bottom of slow cooker. Place cooking bag with frozen turkey in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cut three ½ -inch slits in the top of the cooking bag. Cook for approximately 3½ hours with the slow cooker on HIGH setting or 5 hours on the LOW setting and your meat thermometer reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast. 

Q:        How will I know when an OVEN READY™ turkey is done?
A:         Your OVEN READY™ turkey is done cooking when the timer pops up and your meat thermometer reaches 165°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh.  Always confirm doneness with a meat thermometer.

Q:       What size does OVEN READY™ turkey come in?
A:       OVEN READY™ turkey comes in a whole turkey 11-13 lbs, bone-in breast 4 - 7 lbs. and a boneless, skinless breast 2 - 3 lbs. 

Q:       Where can I find JENNIE-O® OVEN READY™ turkey?

A:       Ask your local grocer to see if they carry OVEN READY™ turkey in their frozen meat section or click here for product locator.

Q:       Do you have a listing of JENNIE-O® gluten free products?
A:        Yes. Browse our products without gluten containing ingredients. Please note that although our products are labeled in compliance with government regulations, it is always necessary to read product labels on the products to determine if the food product meets your required needs.       

Q:       Do you have a listing of JENNIE-O® products by sodium content?
A:       Yes. Browse our products by sodium content.

Q:       Are there coupons available for JENNIE-O® products?
A:        Yes. Browse here for available coupons.