HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 1, 2012 12:23 PM

Can you call stuffing cooked separately (outside of the bird) stuffing ?!

I am fully aware of the lurking "danger" but it's not nearly as delicious if cooked separately IMO. I can see if you want a dish that you can serve vegetarians but is there any other reasons why you would choose to do it in that manner?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I call it stuffing, and I like it better than the stuff cooked inside the bird - nice crispy crust around it, not nasty and soggy. All that bird juice belongs in the gravy!

    2 Replies
    1. re: benbenberi

      Here here!! Exactly why we cook ours outside the bird. We actually put in the slowcooker. And, we still call it stuffing, although my grandma calls it "dressing"

      1. re: benbenberi

        I completely agree! I like having it nice and brown and crispy on top and I can just pour on some of the turkey gravy if I want more turkey taste. But when I make it with a good stock, I certainly don't miss anything in the flavor. The other advantage to cooking it outside of the bird: the sky is your limit to how much you can make! Stuffing is maybe my favorite thing about Thanksgiving (besides the leftover turkey soup) and I want to have lots and lots. And be able to eat the leftovers for breakfast and maybe a late-night snack for days after. haha.

        I guess it's technically not "stuffing" if it's not stuffed into anything, but we've always called it that anyway. I don't think anyone's going to break down our door in the middle of the night and haul us off someplace sinister over it.

      2. I cook mine outside the bird and I still call it stuffing even though technically I suppose it's dressing. I think the name of the dish is largely regional rather than functional. BTW, my mother never puts hers inside the bird, yet calls it stuffing; however, she also makes a version of it with oysters (for my dad - no one else will eat it!) and calls it oyster dressing, even though it's the same dish with oysters added.

        I prefer it cooked outside - inside makes it too wet and there's not nearly enough of the crunchy parts. My recipe is also very rustic, with large pieces of crusty bread and big chunks of roasted shallots, so it's not the usual finer textured stuff that most people use in the bird. I've been spatchcocking my birds the past couple of years anyway, so they're not really stuffable.

        1. We call it dressing. I do not stuff the bird ever.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rasputina

            ditto. (although I did try it once out of curiosity. didn't love it.)

            1. re: rasputina

              It's known as dressing here too. ~ (Made from cornbread and maybe 2 or 3 biscuits). ~ Never in the bird.~ If it were, it would still be called dressing. ~ The stuff made from wheat breads has a name too, but I'll not use it in polite company...........:)

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Funny but I always thought calling it dressing was just a stuffy name for stuffing. Maybe it's a regional thing. I'm in New England with Midwestern roots on my mother's side. We put ours in the bird with a dish of extra made outside. No one ever touched the stuff in the dish until the bird was empty.

            2. We also call it dressing but ya'll have my permission to call it chocolate cake if you like.

              Don't think I've ever eaten stuffing/dressing cooked inside the bird.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kengk

                We called the stuff in the bird "stuffing" and the same thing that was patted into a casserole dish and baked until crispy on top was called "dressing".
                My mom's was so good that it was yummy both when moist and when crispy.

              2. If you make some turkey stock ahead and use that to moisten the "stuffing," You actually get pretty close to the same taste without the actual stuffing issues. For me those issues are, we smoke our turkey outside so stuffing isn't an option, and I can't possibly get enough stuffing into a bird for the number of people at my table. I have no idea what you might want to call it. The naming convention is pretty much a regional and Victorian thing.

                3 Replies
                1. re: smtucker

                  What a great tip.I will do just that. The best reason for cooking the stuffing on the outside of the bird is ,so that it is properly cooked all the way with no fear of salmonella. and calling stuffing dressing is miss leading. Every one knows what stuffing is, but dressing could be any thing.

                  1. re: Moggiesx2

                    Not if you are from the South, we know what dressing is here. LOL

                    1. re: Moggiesx2

                      Where I am, everyone would assume that if talking turkey, dressing = stuffing.