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Would You Totally Mess Up Cooking A Thanksgiving Turkey?

Even if you fail, you'll learn a thing or two before the big day.

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Let's be honest, cooking a turkey is a LOT of pressure ― nobody wants to serve an undercooked bird at Thanksgiving.

NBC

Lucky for you, we've got a handy quiz that'll prep you for the big day!

Pick the best answer for each question to see if you're ready for roasting. Good luck!

  1. If Thursday comes around and you forgot to thaw your turkey, what's the fastest (and safest) way to defrost it?
    Getty Images
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Defrost it in the fridge
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Defrost it in hot water
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Defrost it on the counter
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Defrost it in cold water
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Although defrosting a turkey in hot water might be the fastest method, it's not safe and shouldn't be attempted.

    According to Butterball, you can defrost turkey in cold water if you're pinched for time (just change the water every 30 minutes to be safe). You can also defrost it in the fridge, but it'll take about 24 hours for every four pounds of turkey. Learn everything you need to know about defrosting your bird here.

    Although defrosting a turkey in hot water might be the fastest method, it's not safe and shouldn't be attempted.
    Via Getty Images
  2. Now that it's defrosted, what temperature should you preheat your oven to for roasting it?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    225°F
    Correct
    Incorrect
    325°F
    Correct
    Incorrect
    425°F
    Correct
    Incorrect
    525°F
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    According to Butterball, you should be roasting your turkey in a relatively low oven — around 325°F.

    This way, the skin won't brown too quickly, and you won't risk undercooking the thighs. See everything you need to know about oven temperatures and roasting times here.

    According to Butterball, you should be roasting your turkey in a relatively low oven — around 325°F.
    Via Getty Images
  3. Which of these parts should you remove before putting it in the oven?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    The wishbone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The giblet bag
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The backbone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The wingtips
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The little bag of turkey odds and ends is called the giblets.

    One of the most common mistakes people make is that they forget to take them out. Most turkeys come with a tiny bag of them tucked into the cavity. Simply take 'em out and discard them, or use them to make giblet gravy. See how to do it here.

    The little bag of turkey odds and ends is called the giblets.
    Via Getty Images
  4. And to get a browned and crispy skin, what should you brush the skin with before roasting?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    A light dusting of flour
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Chicken stock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Orange juice or other sugary juices
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Butter or oil
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    To promote browning of the skin, brush it with oil or butter.

    This will help the skin get nice and brown, and make it deliciously crisp. Check out even more ways to get your skin nice and crispy here.

    To promote browning of the skin, brush it with oil or butter.
    Via Getty Images
  5. What is it called if you decide to tie the legs together with twine?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    Trussing
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Dressing
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Butterflying
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Bracing
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Tying the legs together with twine is called trussing.

    Trussing is not completely necessary, but it helps the turkey hold its shape and cook evenly. Learn how to do it here.

    Tying the legs together with twine is called trussing.
    Via Getty Images
  6. And what is it called if you brush the skin with its own juices or some other liquid?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    Dredging
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Basting
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Clarifying
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Washing
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Brushing turkey with pan juices (or some other liquid) while it cooks is called basting.

    This technique is believed to keep the meat moist as it cooks, but most experts agree that it's not completely necessary. Learn about the pros and cons of basting here.

    Brushing turkey with pan juices (or some other liquid) while it cooks is called basting.
    Via Getty Images
  7. What temperature should you cook your turkey to?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    135°F
    Correct
    Incorrect
    145°F
    Correct
    Incorrect
    155°F
    Correct
    Incorrect
    165°F
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    According to the USDA, turkey should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°

    This is the same temperature for all poultry items, including chicken.

    According to the USDA, turkey should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°
    Via Getty Images
  8. And where should you be taking the temperature?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    The thickest part of the breast
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The wingtips
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The thickest part of the thigh
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The very front of the breast
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    When checking the temperature, insert your thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.

    The breasts cook faster than the thighs, so taking the temperature in the wrong place could result in a turkey that's cooked in some spots, but undercooked in others. Learn how to properly check the temperature of your turkey here.

    When checking the temperature, insert your thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
    Via Getty Images
  9. As soon as the turkey comes out of the oven, you should do what?
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    Correct
    Incorrect
    Brush it with additional oil or butter
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Let it rest for 10–20 minutes
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Brush it with hot chicken stock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Remove the thighs to prevent carryover cooking
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Before cutting into a turkey, let it rest for 10–20 minutes.

    This will give the turkey enough time for all the juices to redistribute and keep it moist. Learn more about resting meats here.

    Before cutting into a turkey, let it rest for 10–20 minutes.
    Via Getty Images

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