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Old 10-28-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
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ISO Thanksgiving suggestions

I'm hosting Thanksgiving for 30 people and I know I need about 40 lbs of turkey. I'm trying to figure out if I should get 2 20 lb turkeys or a turkey and some turkey breasts or maybe even a turkey and a ham. I really can't fit 2 turkeys in my oven at the same time, so I don't know how to prepare all this. Any suggestions?

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Old 10-28-2009, 10:45 AM   #2
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First of all, you don't need a 40 pound turkey to feed 30 people. Servings for turkey are calculated at a half pound of turkey per person. That means a 15 pound turkey (whole turkey weight) for 30 people. A serving is considered about 4 ounces per person.

You will have plenty of turkey for all and leftovers if you buy a bird that weighs in the low 20 pound range.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:51 AM   #3
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For that many people, doing a nice size turkey and a ham would be nice. Serving buffet style? What are you doing for sides? We have people coming here, been awhile since anyone has ventured into the "hinterlands" for a winter holiday. Looking forward to cooking for a crowd!!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:52 AM   #4
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You can always deep fry a turkey as well as have one in the oven!

Mmmm... Deep fry turkey!!!! (Homer Simpson voice)
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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I got my 40 lb calculatin from the Butterball website. They have a calculator where you plug in the number of adults and children, and it tells you how many pounds of turkey you need. I do want some left overs also.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:03 AM   #6
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Doing a brief google search, I found the same thing, 1 lb/1 serving. That is for a bone-in bird. You could consider doing a turkey roast (or two). There are several out there, not a "minced" and mashed product, but white and dark meat rolled into a roast. Every slice has a bit of both, but boneless, skinless. One can also get boneless breasts, or smoked legs, in other words, one can rethink the turkey form for oven size considerations. I've had some of the turkey roasts that are quite moist and tasty. One would need less pounds per serving as the product is boneless. and their size is convenient to put another casserole or roast along side.
Utilizing a grill or deep fryer is another great idea. It gives you a variety.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:32 AM   #7
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I agree with Andy M but if you insist on having that much, (my grandpa used to make a lot of food as the whole family always wanted doggie bags!!) I would make two separate things, either two birds or a bird and a ham... it will take less time. Instead of you doing it all yourself, you could also ask guests to bring a dish. Even simple things like dessert, rolls, etc. And I would suggest making things ahead of time and just worry about reheating on the big day....less time, less stress, less clean up and you can enjoy more time with the family. ENJOY!!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
First of all, you don't need a 40 pound turkey to feed 30 people. Servings for turkey are calculated at a half pound of turkey per person. That means a 15 pound turkey (whole turkey weight) for 30 people. A serving is considered about 4 ounces per person.

You will have plenty of turkey for all and leftovers if you buy a bird that weighs in the low 20 pound range.
Andy is spot on here. Many of us learned this the hard way, but you don't have to. There are always so many sides, and so much to eat at Thanksgiving dinner. I would also bet you will have leftovers. I personally always cook around a 23 pound turkey (dressing on the side). That way I can invite all the last minute guests who inevitably turn up and know confidently there will be plenty of food for everyone.

Here's another bit of advice: let your family bring the sides they want. You can make the ones YOU want, and everyone will be happy.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for the great suggestions. I am definately going to have family bring sides so I'm basically only on the hook for the meat.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:29 PM   #10
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i used to do a turkey in the oven, about a twenty pounder. most ham just needs to heated. i put the ham in the crock pot. i gave thanksgiving dinner to my kids last year. it is simply to much work for me to do by myself these days. that method always worked out great.
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