Last minute Thanksgiving cooking tips - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Last minute Thanksgiving cooking tips

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The clock is ticking on getting your Thanksgiving meal together. Whether your a veteran or novice cook, turkey day can be the most stressful meal of the year to cook.

We talked to a Dubuque chef and the owner of Cremer's, the maker of this quite famous Dubuque turkey and dressing sandwich. They gave us tips to make your dinner famous with your family.

"The turkey and dressing is something we sell a lot of," Jeff Cremer said. "We probably sell as much dressing after the holidays as we do before for people coming in and getting it to go with their turkey."

Cremer's knows turkey and dressing, and they have a lot of recommendations for Thanksgiving customers, starting with keeping those two favorites turkey and dressing separate.

"Cooking the stuffing inside of it is only going to prolong your cooking time, so to get that stuffing done to the proper temperature, you're probably going to dry out the turkey," Cremer said.

Cremer says other ways to keep the turkey moist include cooking it in a bag and checking the bird a little before it should be done.

"You can always put it back in, but if you're waited too long, and you've overcooked it, you're going to have a dry turkey," Cremer said.

At Cookin' Something Up, chef manager Stephanie Gorius is doing Thanksgiving preparations, and that's her first trick: make things like dinner rolls, stuffing and cranberry sauce the night before, and just use the oven to warm things when your turkey's almost done.

"A lot of things if you do it ahead of time, it's nice because you can warm it up at the same temperature that you're cooking," Gorius said.

Gorius says a common day- of problem is a still-frozen turkey, but here's her emergency fix.

"The best thing to do is put it in a bowl or put it in a clean sink with cool water, not warm water. You want to make it nice and cool so it thaws out quickly, but it'll take about an hour," Gorius said.

The Johnson County Public Health Department has these reminders about food safety. Be sure to clean your hands and food-contact surfaces often. Separate foods to avoid cross-contamination. It's important to keep raw meats away from other ready-to-eat foods. Cook to proper temperatures: Turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165-degrees.

Cremer's is opening a new Asbury Road location on Friday.  That location will be open 9-5 on Friday.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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