Since this may not be your idea of the perfect stuffing, I found some tips for preparing traditional stuffing below.
Fact or Fiction: There's a difference between stuffing & Southern dressing. Stuffing is made from chunks of seasoned bread crumbs and stuffed inside the turkey, and Southern Dressing is made from baked cornbread and baked in a casserole dish. Southern Dressing is extremely moist compared to stuffing.(FACT)
Here's some tips for traditional stuffing from the Food Network.
- To stuff, or not to stuff: Preparing your stuffing inside the turkey may be delicious, but it does slow down cooking time & could be a health hazard if not cooked correctly. If you want to play it extra-safe with poultry, don't stuff your bird make "dressing", which is simply stuffing that's cooked in a buttered casserole or soufflé dish. You won't be sacrificing flavor if you drizzle the dressing with pan drippings from the cooked turkey. If you do plan on baking the stuffing and turkey together, stuff your turkey just before putting it in the oven and cook it to 180 degrees F.
- Never prepare stuffing the night before if you plan to cook it inside the turkey, because that could cause dangerous bacteria to grow. Place stuffing inside the turkey right before roasting.
- Should you use raw ingredients in your stuffing? Nope. All stuffing ingredients should be cooked before placing stuffing in the turkey.
- Turkey/Stuffing Ratio: If stuffing your turkey, estimate one cup of stuffing for each pound of turkey, (i.e. a 10 lb turkey will get 10 cu of stuffing.) Stuff both the neck and body with 1/2 to 3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey. Cook any extra stuffing on the side in a separate dish. Be careful not to overstuff your turkey as this could cause it to be dried out.
- To prevent your stuffing from getting too mushy, keep dry and wet ingredients separate until right before stuffing the bird or casserole dish. If you like the stuffing a little drier and cake-like, add an egg or two.
- How can you tell if stuffing is done? If you plan to stuff the turkey, give stuffing a head start by heating it up before placing it inside your turkey. Stuffing, like turkey, needs to reach the 165 degree mark to be considered done. If your turkey is done before the stuffing, move the stuffing to a casserole dish and continue baking.