The Best Way to Transport a Cooked Turkey and Other Holiday Foods (Part II)

Carve the turkey before you transport it.

Tips for Traveling Turkeys

Roast the turkey in an oven with a temp of 325 degrees F and no lower.

Look to see that the turkey thigh is 180 degrees F internal temperature, that the breast is 170 degrees F and that the juices are clear.

Let the bird rest for around 20 minutes before removing the stuffing and carving it.

Take the stuffing and let it cool at room temperature.

Carefully carve all the meat from the bird. Separate the turkey meat into little containers or tightly sealed packages to expedite both reheating and chilling.

Quickly refrigerate the stuffing and turkey separately. You can freeze it if you’re cooking a few days ahead of time. Even if you got your turkey frozen, it’s okay to re-freeze after it’s been cooked.

When you travel, pack the stuffing and turkey in an insulated cooler with frozen gel packs or ice. When you get to your destination, reheat the stuffing and turkey at 325 degrees F oven or in a microwave until each gets an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Discard any foods that warm over refrigerator temperature (40 degrees F). Food poisoning bacteria grow quickly at warm temperatures.

What Not to Do

NEVER half cook a turkey at your home and then finish cooking it later.

NEVER put a turkey in the oven at a low temperature the night before you have to go and think you can carry it, fully cooked, to your destination. It must be cooked at a temperature of 325 degrees F.

NEVER stuff or dress a raw bird and transport it for later cooking. Instead, make the stuffing ahead of time, chill it, transport it to your destination in an ice-packed cooler, and then bake it as quickly as you can.