October 25, 2014

Turkey Roasting Tips

Roasting a turkey requires an appliance – your oven, a BBQ, an electric roaster, or if you’re looking for a riskier approach, a deep fryer. If you are going the traditional route, with an oven roasted bird, we’ve got some tips for you.

* Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.

* Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

* For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

* If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.

* A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.

* If your turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.

* For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

* Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.

Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(325 °F oven temperature)

Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey. These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.

Unstuffed
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

Stuffed
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours

It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Remember to remove the giblet packages during the cooking time. Remove carefully with tongs or a fork.

Optional Cooking Hints

* Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as “akimbo.”

* Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan.

* If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 ½ hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter. To prevent overbrowning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.

* If using an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 °F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product.

* If using an oven cooking bag, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the package.

For more advice on turkey defrosting, prepping and safety visit the USDA’s Food safety site.

$300 Million? When Will the Rebates Start?

Our article about the government’s $300 million dollar rebate program which is part of Obama’s economic stimulus package hasn’t begun and consumers across the nation are wondering if it is ever going to happen.

Unlike the $3 billion clunkers rebate blitzkrieg that boosted new-vehicle sales last summer, this program has proceeded more slowly and is aimed at longer-term household investments. It’s also being run differently, with each state deciding what kind of equipment will qualify for rebates.

The federal Department of Energy said last summer that only residential appliances that carry the Energy Star designation would qualify for a rebate. It suggested that rebates could be applied to water heaters, refrigerators, central air conditioners and other big-ticket appliances.

After talking with several people familiar with the program, it now appears details will be released by the end of the year on exactly the types of equipment each state will include in its rebate program as well as the amount of the rebates.

If you can’t wait for your state to start its program, you might want to look into the possibility of getting a Federal tax credit by visiting the government’s energysavers.gov.

GE Appliance Rebate

GE is offering a rebate of up to $500 on its Profile and Cafe lines. The offer is good until December 31, 2009, so if you plan to update your appliances, now might be a good time.

Pick any 5. Get $500
Pick any 4. Get $300
Pick any 3. Get $200
Pick any 2. Get $100

Check out the GE site for entry and more details.

Will That New Appliance Really Save Energy?

If you are shopping for a new, energy efficient appliance, and thought all you needed to do to was look for the yellow EnergyStar tag, think again.

The Department of Energy has released new findings that show a handful of appliances may not be as energy efficient as advertised because of problems with the “energy star” labeling program.

That little yellow sticker you see on some new appliances is supposed to guarantee an appliance is in the top 25% of energy efficiency, but an internal audit, just released, shows that the Department of Energy has not been properly tracking how the star has been used.

Initially manufacturers would self-report whether their products met the energy star guidelines, but with the new revelations, that’s changing.

Industry watchdogs are quick to point out, despite a few problems, the energy star program is not a washout.

“It’s not like we found rampant cheating and mis-representation in our testing,” said Celia Kuperszmid Leharman of Consumer Reports. “I think that for now that the stickers are pretty reliable, and they’re good comparative things from one product to the next.”

Before you purchase a new appliance, check out the Department of Energy’s consumer’s webpage for news on energy efficient appliances.

Play With a Kid – Win a Frigidaire Wall Oven

Here’s a contest that’s child’s play:

When you pledge to spend an hour with your child, Frigidaire will donate $11 to Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. And you will be entered for a chance to win a new Frigidaire Professional double wall oven.

Frigidaire is proud to support Save the Children’s CHANGE program, dedicated to providing nutritious snacks and promoting healthier lifestyles for children living in poverty in the United States.

New Frigidaire is the first collection of appliances designed with time-saving features for busy Moms. Every day you pledge your time, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a new Frigidaire Professional double wall oven.

Go ahead, click here to enter!

Manufacturer Rebate vs Government Rebate

We’ve been getting questions regarding when the Government’s promised 300 million dollar appliance rebate will become available. The problem is, unlike the cars Cash for Clunkers program, this appliance stimulus plan is designed and administered by the individual states.

Under a population-based funding formula, Ohio was allocated $11 million, Kentucky $4 million and Indiana $6 million for the rebates.

Today is the deadline for the states to submit their rebate plans. The federal government has until the end of November to approve them.

But most states aren’t expected to launch their rebate programs until early next year.

Jim Recker of Recker & Boerger Inc. appliance stores in Ohio and other appliance retailers say there are plenty of manufacturers rebates already available and some retailers are piggy-backing with their own rebates.

“People will wait for (the government program), but if they bought now, they could take advantage of rebates already in place and save on less energy used by the new appliances in the meantime,” said Recker,(Cincinnati.com) whose firm has stores in Springdale, Montgomery and Anderson Township.

Some examples: Frigidaire has extended a $100 cash back offer on Energy Star-qualified dishwashers through the end of October. Electrolux is offering $100 pre-paid Visa card on Energy Star-rated refrigerators purchased through November.

Another wrinkle in the appliance rebate program is that the federal guidelines encourage the states to team-up with recyclers to remove old appliances from the market, although it isn’t mandated (as it was in the Cash for Clunkers program).

Broken Appliance? Do You Repair it or Not?

Having a broken appliance is annoying, not knowing whether or not to fix it is frustrating. We’ve found some questions to ask yourself before you decide what to do, along with appliance lifespan estimates and some simple maintenance advice. Read on.

10 questions to ask:

- Is it really broken? The trouble may be a short in the plug, a tripped circuit breaker or a bad surge-protector outlet. Check the troubleshooting section of the unit’s instruction manual for the most common problems and solutions.

- How old is the appliance?

- Have you had trouble with the unit before? If it’s performed well, it might be worth fixing instead of replacing with something unproven.

- How much will it cost to repair the unit?

- What would a similar appliance cost?

- Are there any hidden costs to purchase (removal, installation, disposal, tax, etc.)?

- How difficult is it to replace the appliance (is it a built-in)?

- What additional features will I get with the new appliance?

- What energy savings will I get with the new appliance? Will they offset the cost of a new appliance versus repair?

- What tax credits are available for purchasing an energy-efficient unit? Will they offset the cost of a new appliance versus repair?

Average life of appliances:

Industry experts say washing machines tend to break down the most because they take the most beatings and contain many moving parts.

- 10-15 years for refrigerators and freezers.

- 10-20 years for ovens and ranges.

- 10-15 years for dishwashers.

- 10-15 years for clothes washers/dryers.

- 10-20 years for water heaters.

- 15-20 years for central air-conditioning unit.

Preventive maintenance:

- Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator annually and check door seals to ensure they are airtight.

- Check air filters monthly and replace as needed.

- Replace washer fill hoses every five years.

- Avoid overloading the washing machine.

- Have the exhaust duct on the clothes dryer inspected and cleaned once a year. Clean the lint filter before each use.

New Jenn-Air Wall Oven Collection

A new collection of Jenn-Air wall ovens includes a model that claims not only the best performance in the industry but several other exclusives, including the only touch screen control with an image-enabled cooking guide. The wall ovens are the centerpieces of a new, high end Jenn-Air appliance line slated for availability this fall.

Based on comparative tests against other super premium brands of wall ovens, the top performing Jenn-Air double wall oven produced consistently superior results, according to Juliet Johnson, manager of brand experience for Jenn-Air. The 7-inch, glass-touch screen is the largest of its kind and features “touch anywhere” technology. An interactive, menu-driven Culinary Center helps cooks achieve desired cooking results by considering a range of details such as the food category, food type, desired doneness and even the type of pan used. Color images illustrating desired doneness levels combined with exclusive visuals showing how and where to insert the temperature probe for variety of dishes offers cooks further assurance that their dishes will be cooked to their specifications.

Other exclusives include the first common cutout fit for a wall oven, allowing for simple installation into virtually any existing wall oven cutout; a “no preheat” feature for cooking many dishes without the need to preheat; and 6,800 watt dual fan convection elements, the most powerful available.

Available in 27- and 30-inch models, the new Jenn-Air wall oven collection includes single, double convection, non-convection and microwave/wall oven combinations. Style choices for the new ovens include the commercial look of Pro-Style stainless steel and the sleek, refined Euro-Style options available in Oiled Bronze, black and white Floating Glass and stainless steel. Suggested retail prices will range from $1,899 to $4,999.