TODAY   |  November 21, 2012

Should you wash your turkey before cooking it?

TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb debate whether you should wash your turkey before cooking, and they have all their turkey preparation questions answered by Marty Van Ness from the Butterball talk line, which has been advising Thanksgiving chefs for 21 years.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> hey, everybody, welcome, welcome, it's winesday wednesday, it's november 21st . hoda knows, because she's got family here it is the second biggest travel day of the year. so, good luck, everybody, wherever you are going.

>> i'm so excited. in the upstairs studio, about 20 feet from us is my family, my mom, my brother, his wife, hannah and ella, the new addition to the family is here.

>> first christmas.

>> first thanksgiving day tomorrow.

>> winter wonderland , phantasma mania.

>> still waiting you.

>> going to be with us maybe later for a toy segment.

>> very nice. a fun time four.

>> yes.

>> you love sharing this, beloved new york city .

>> going to go to radio city , such fun for the kids, you guys have ever not gone, they give you 3-d glasses, see like 10,000 santas coming at you, the kids go crazy, probably try to go friday matinee.

>> awesome, awesome.

>> we had fun with anderson cooper , had fun the few days ago, like everyone is just hearing about our party.

>> just aired yesterday.

>> that's right.

>> anderson cooper did something he has never, ever done on national television before. he had a couple of sips of the sauce, okay? and he is one lightweight. we have never seen anything like it except high school .

>> we thought he was kidding. no.

>> anyway, this is how he did -- how it went down.

>> so to speak.

>> i'm excite, hoda and kathie lee are here, having a lot of fun, i am drunk. it is sad but true. i'm like, during the break, i'm like eating chicken, like chicken.

>> don't drink that much, do we?

>> yes.

>> okay. there's a new -- one of my favorite networks is tlc .

>> favorite what?

>> networks, tlc .

>> tlc .

>> tlc . open, my god.

>> yes.

>> never have agreed to this i'm drunk and you're nasty! [ laughter ] first off --

>> a bit of a problem now.

>> when we come back, we are going to see if it filled your crack.

>> you had to see the whole show.

>> to understand that stuff that gives you instant botox.

>> he has deep crease.

>> worrying.

>> almost like a candle wax that you put in that crack and it smooths it out. that's what was happening.

>> it was out of control.

>> a blast.

>> he is -- is he back yet from the gaza?

>> he is still in gaza and actually twitter war with some folks out there who have been, you know, making some comments to him. i got to tell you, this guy is working around the clock.

>> yes.

>> he is in a very, very dangerous spot and i think he is doing terrific.

>> why are people --

>> just people are people . people are people . all right. we know it's thanksgiving and a lot of thanksgiving myths thought we would like to debunk for you.

>> we' here to debunk them.

>> a myth that says our in-laws are outlaws.

>> from way fair.com.

>> 70% of people enjoy spending time with their in-laws, the other 30% would rather do just about anything else.

>> wonder if the other 30% just don't like anybody.

>> yeah.

>> the kind of people that are just never happy.

>> that's good. good observation.

>> people in this world, let's be honest, you can bend over backwards all day long, no matter what, not going to appreciate something. never enough. never enough people. then the person you just smile at them and they are grateful.

>> yep.

>> let's be that kind of person, people.

>> the other myth is this --

>> not be this.

>> people decorate their lawns, not just beautiful christmas lights and music, decide to put inflatables out front. here's one of them, an inflatable snow globe that says merry christmas . if you can inflate it your neighbors hate it, because there's a constant generator --

>> noise.

>> blowing at all times.

>> when it's not blowing it is a flat piece of ugly plastic laying on the grass.

>> they call inflatables the worst holiday decorating offense.

>> offense.

>> offensive.

>> gosh, hoda, you have been hanging out with you know who?

>> anderson?

>> yeah, a little bit. another myth.

>> yeah, an interesting question, to shower or not to shower your turkey , should you wash it, rinse it in the sink when you get it?

>> i always have all years.

>> i thought it was fine. sometime his the bottom of the bag there is stuff. you want to rinse it away. apparently that is wrong.

>> new information warns if you wash it in the sink, the spray can send bacteria up to three feet away. i don't believe it. it's never happened in my house. just be -- got to cook a turkey through that is going to cook a lot of bacteria. we don't want salmonella poisoning.

>> sure.

>> follow the directions. we have some help with that today.

>> we do marty van necessary from naperville, illinois, she is on the butterball turkey call-in line.

>> doing it like 29 years, 21 years.

>> we adore her.

>> love her.

>> the lines have been open. people are calling all the time. always ask kind of similar questions. hey, marty .

>> happy thanksgiving.

>> well, happy thanksgiving, hoda and kathie lee .

>> how are you, doll?

>> nice to talk to you again.

>> good to see you.

>> i would imagine the most asked question is should i or shouldn't i cover the bird? everyone asks that question, i do tent it, put a cover over it, leave it?

>> find out from her what the most common question is?

>> the common question is how i do get the perfect golden roasted turkey . they want that picture-perfect bird every year. there are a lot of steps that go through that and correct, walk the turkey is not necessary. cooking it properly will make it perfectly edible and keep it really great to eat.

>> so it doesn't hurt to wash it, it just isn't accomplishing what you think it would.

>> i always say, this is what we recommend. there are no turkey police that will come to your house.

>> yes.

>> not yet.

>> your kitchen. yeah. i don't wash my turkeys anymore. i used to many, many years ago. we have learned that that could be a potential issue. so, why not just pat it dry and get it right in the oven?

>> we understand that people have questions and we decided to gave little break, marty , we were going to take one of the questions. jackie's on the phone and she needs some help from the 1-800-butterball line. debbie is what i meant. not jackie.

>> hey, debbie .

>> hey, debbie .

>> hi, debbie . this is the butterball turkey talk line. how are you?

>> good, thank you.

>> we are going to take this one, marty . go ahead.

>> we need a rest. we are so swamped with calls.

>> what can we help you with, hon?

>> i have a 35-pound fresh turkey .

>> uh-huh.

>> i was trying to find out if it would be okay to cut the breasts off and the leg he s and put in a roaster and cook it that way or a 35-pound turkey or in the oven?

>> a 35-pound turkey will take you eight hours.

>> or longer.

>> to roast. next time, next time, get three -- get two smaller ones.

>> a friend of mine raised it, fresh from a farm.

>> she can't. she raised t cut it up.

>> enough is enough. she loaves the turkey .

>> slice it and dice it. what i say.

>> debbie , we need to reveal ourselves to you.

>> yes.

>> i'll kelly ripa .

>> and i'm regis.

>> no it's kathie lee and code hoda, how are you?

>> oh.

>> so what is the real thing, debbie ?

>> on a 35 or 36-pound turkey , leave it whole but it those fit into the oven, need a pan large enough and cook more easily if you separate it into legs and thighs, take the breasts off and cook the pieces separately in a large pan. but you need a really large pan because you will have a lot of drippings from a really large turkey . i have a feeling unless you are serving a lot of people, you will need great leftover recipes from our butterball cookbook app.

>> look at you, marty , getting that in. am i right in saying if i can, just get two turkeys.

>> don't try to be right.

>> we do recommend that usually. two 18-pounders. and it is going gois gonna be wonderful.

>> add chicken broth to the roaster pan to make sure the turkey stays moist?

>> you won't need to add liquid to it, that turkey is going to be juicy enough as long as you don't overcook it the meat thermometer, the breast is done at 175 -- i'm sorry, 170, the breast is done, take it out. the thighs 180, when they reach 180, the whole turkey is done.

>> okay, you're losing us.

>> get a calculator.

>> happy thanksgiving to everybody. you have any questions, talk turkey , 1-800-butter ball.

>> we did have fun monday --

>> the new york mission. the new york city rescue mission every monday right before thanksgiving to do a holiday feast for so many people that are hurting and we dance and sing with the band. hoedy coming with me for -- and we serve these beautiful people who have so little and have lost so much.

>> it was great.

>> i want to thank -- different digs this time because we have had a big campaign to raise money for the mission. the oldest mission in all of new york city . i think it was 187 something.

>> sure.

>> that's why we are in the new place because they are building three stories on to the one across the street.

>> really beautiful this year.

>> god bless all those folks there.

>> we want to say, one of my favorite people on earth is back with us again.

>> something's going on.

>> his name is flo rida . he made a promise in the week he was going to bring something with him. let's listen to what he said first.

>> what up, it's your man, flow rida, check me out live only on "today." kick off your holidays with us. by the way, hoda, i got a special treat for you.

>> a special treat ?

>> is that a warping or