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Should You Rinse the Turkey?

The Disgusting Reason You Should Never Rinse Your Turkey


I know my mom always rinses whole chickens and turkeys in the sink before roasting them — it's something that generations of folks have done, but after attending a turkey-cooking seminar at Butterball, I learned that's the last thing you should do.

The most bone-chilling reason is you run the risk of splashing salmonella everywhere. Even if you have no cutting boards or dishes near the sink for salmonella-contaminated water to touch, the sink and faucet handles themselves may get contaminated. And when there's so much other stuff to clean, why take up your time to scrub everything with a decontaminator (including inside the sink) after raw poultry has touched it? No one has time for that.

To top things off, rinsing the turkey may waterlog it, meaning the turkey skin steams rather than roasts into that coveted crispy, brown exterior. [Insert cry emoji.] So instead, this year, be bold. Don't rinse your turkey. Just remove it from the package and blot it dry with paper towels. Your family will high-five you for keeping them safe.

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
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