Preparing your bird safely this Thanksgiving

Take your time while cooking. It's the leading cause of house fires on Thanksgiving Day.

Baking, smoking, boiling, and frying are some ways you can cook your Thanksgiving turkey feast.

Some even make it in the crock pot.

Whatever method you choose, there are handling procedures you need to consider in the kitchen.

"The FDA recommends that we do not stuff our birds anymore from a raw state. However, if you cook the turkey halfway through and then put the stuffing in then there's no bacteria concerns growing on the stuffing. A lot of it is that people just don't let the temperature of the stuffing get to the desirable where it's not going to have any bacteria on it so that would be a safety concern. And then leaving the bird out overnight to thaw is a big no-no," said Hy-Vee market manager Jeff Myers.

Myers said you should let your bird thaw in the refrigerator for four hours per pound and the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees before serving.

Take your time while cooking. It's the leading cause of house fires on Thanksgiving Day.

"When you're cooking outside with the fryers we encourage you to make sure that you use those devices properly; follow the safety instructions. Don't cook under or near any structures especially under the carports or in garages. Do those outside in a safe location especially when they're safely away from children," said Jefferson City Interim Fire Chief Jason Turner.

Turner said fryer fires can cause extreme damage to homes because they spread very quickly in a closed location.

If you're going to use the fryer method, make sure your turkey is less than 15 to 16 pounds.

"If you get too big of a turkey, the oil spews over and that's when you've got that backlash of fire. Also make sure that your turkey is dry. [Make sure there's] no moisture on the turkey before putting it in the hot oil because the water reacting with the oil will cause splatter, and that will cause a safety concern," said Myers.

Always have a working smoke detector and never leave food unattended while cooking.