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 any difference in flavor or quality between the two. Fresh turkeys, or our OVEN READY™ turkeys, may be more convenient since 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 2 to 3 days after it is thawed.
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 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: No—our turkeys cook up flavorful and juicy without basting. And repeatedly opening the oven door to baste the turkey could increase cooking time.
Q: How do I brine a turkey?
A: Start with a turkey that has not already been enhanced with a solution—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 easily removed with a kitchen scissors after roasting.
Q: While cooking a turkey can vegetables be in the same pan as the turkey?
A: We recommend cooking your vegetables in a separate baking dish.
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?
A: Yes, though cooking time will vary. ALWAYS confirm doneness with a meat thermometer, which should read180°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 containers within 2 hours of roasting.
Q: How long can leftovers be stored?
A: Leftovers may be kept 3 to 4 days. Leftover turkey may be frozen 3 to 4 months. Go to How to Safely Handle Turkey for more information.
Q: What are giblets?
A: Giblets are the turkey’s gizzard, heart and liver. The giblets and neck, when cooked, are a delicious addition to gravy and stuffing. Remove the package from inside the turkey before cooking. If you happen to forget to remove the package, the turkey is still safe to eat
Q: Do all JENNIE-O® whole turkeys come with a giblet bag?
A: All JENNIE-O® whole turkeys come with a giblet bag with the exception of the
JENNIE-O® OVEN READY™ turkeys. The giblet 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.
Q: Are OVEN READY™ turkeys pre-cooked?
A: OVEN READY™ turkey is not pre-cooked. It is premium, frozen turkey that can be found in
your grocer's freezer section.
Q: Do I have to thaw an OVEN READY™ turkey?
A: You do not need to thaw OVEN READY™ turkey because it comes wrapped in a cooking bag that allows it to go directly to oven. If you happen to thaw an OVEN READY™ turkey it is safe to cook. Turkey is done cooking when your meat thermometer reaches 170°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: No. To avoid damaging the cooking bag that OVEN READY™ turkey comes in, we do not recommend stuffing the turkey. Also, harmful bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached a safe internal temperature; therefore, it is recommended that stuffing be cooked separately.
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. We have provided 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 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 170°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 1 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 5½ hours with the slow cooker on high setting or 6½ hours on the low setting and your meat thermometer reaches 170°F in 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 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh.
Q: What size does OVEN READY™ turkey come in?
A: OVEN READY™ turkey comes in a whole turkey, bone-in breast and a boneless, skinless breast. The whole turkey is available in a 11-13 pound size.
Q: Where can I find an OVEN READY™ turkey?
A: Check with your local grocer to see if they carry OVEN READY™ turkey in their frozen meat section.
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 the 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 Sodium Smart products.
Q: Are there coupons available for JENNIE-O® products?
A: Yes. Browse here for available coupons.