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Nov 18, 2008 12:37 PM

Stuffing in the bird or outside?

I'm sure this must get discussed every year, but since it's that time again, I will bring it up. I have been eating stuffing baked inside the bird all my life (and I'm no spring chicken). Yes, with raw eggs. It is so much better in the bird (IMO) and I have never gotten sick. But there's always someone (when we're going a large gathering), that will bring a casserole of stuffing to be cooked out of the bird. Bleck. So what's your preference. And if you cook it in the bird, do you precook it in the microwave to make it a safer stuffing. If so, how do you get it in the bird without scorching your hands?

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  1. I prefer the stuffing outside of the bird in a casserole dish. Now, that would be the only way i could eat it considering i'm vegetarian, but even as a child i preferred the stuffing in the casserole dish. It gets all crunchy on top and delicious.

    1. i usually make too much stuffing so end up cooking most of it in the turkey and some outside of the turkey. For sure, the stuffing in the bird tastes better. However, my cousin makes the stuffing outside of the turkey and it is still delicous. So i guess it is all in the recipe!

      1 Reply
      1. re: meb903

        I used to do it that way, accidentally on purpose really, since different family members like it different ways and I like both. Now I no longer stuff the cavity, since you really can't clean it completely from there and it can sour the whole carcass. I do stuff a good bit under the breast skin to insulate and moisten it, and that keeps the breast from cooking faster than the (precious) dark meat. The subcutaneous stuffing is almost as moist as that cooked in a cavity, and just as delicious in its way, and a heck of a lot easier to remove.

      2. Inside always. Tastes so much better. But I believe that giblets and the neck should be used to make a broth for the gravy. So no worries for my stuffing. I use plenty of butter, celery, onions, seasoning crumbled homemade cornbread (leftover from Thanksgiving Day breakfast and whatever mix of white and whole wheat bread I have torn apart. So my stuffing only has butter in it to moisten it before it goes in the bird, no broth or eggs. Easy enough to let the stuffing cool before jamming it into the cavity.

        1. Always in the bird. Same with my mom and her mom and probably before that. Somehow, we've all survived and thrived. We even leave the bird out late into the night for anyone who wants to slice off some meat or try to get more stuffing.

          1. I tried cooking stuffing inside the bird once but it took forever to fully cook both even though I was using an oven bag. While a stuffed bird looks gorgeous, and the idea of cooking the stuffing and turkey as one is appealing and seems traditional, I cook the two separate. However, I don't start baking the stuffing until the turkey has been in the oven for a while...long enough to get the perfect amount of those juices for moistening the stuffing. Best of both worlds.