Are you planning to cook a turkey dinner for this Thanksgiving or Christmas? Are you nervous because you've always had someone else to cook a turkey for you and your family? This article will give you tips for your next holiday dinner.

Buy a turkey a day or 2 before dinner. You want to plan on about 1 1/2 pounds of turkey for each person coming to dinner. So if you'll be cooking for 5 people, you'll need 7 1/2 pounds.

Check about thawing directions right away so you aren't surprised about how long it takes for cooking turkey!

Plan on cooking turkey for 20 minutes per pound. So if you have a 7 1/2 pound turkey, plan for cooking turkey for a duration of 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. This temperature is important when you cooking turkey so the meat gets hot enough to kill harmful bacteria.

Grease the pan with butter for flavor and to prevent sticking. If you'll be cooking turkey with roast potatoes, carrots, and onions, place them in the pan with the bird. Pour water in the pan that you'll be cooking turkey in so that it's about an inch deep to keep the turkey moist. Season it with salt and pepper.

Check your progress about an hour before you think it will be done cooking. Under-cooking turkey is easy to fix (cook it longer) but you can't un-cook an overcooked turkey. To see if it's done all the way through, jab a fork into the top center. If the juices run clear, you're done cooking turkey and it's time to eat!

Enjoy your meal with family, and bask in the compliments!  If you'd like more ideas on Thanksgiving celebrations, I've included resource links below. Good luck!
Tips & Warnings
•    When you cook the turkey, if you like crunchy skin don't pour the water/juices over it during cooking.
•    On the other hand, if the skin seems to be browning too quickly, go ahead and spoon the juices over it when you cook the turkey.

More Thanksgiving Tips:

How to decorate your home for Thanksgiving

How to Cook a Turkey by Weight
Credit: Copyright 2011 Amberdawn