How can I prevent mushy stuffing?

 

"My stuffing is always mushy, then if I cook it longer it becomes dry. Could you give me some tips?"

There are two reasons stuffing gets mushy, and both are easy to remedy, says Rick Rodgers, author of 50 Best Stuffings and Dressingsand Thanksgiving 101.

Soft bread makes mushy stuffing: be sure your bread cubes are very crisp. Either leave them out for a day or two at room temperature to get stale or bake them in a 300F oven for about 20 minutes (don't let them brown).

If you are cooking stuffing in the bird, the mixture gets basted by all those great turkey juices. But stuffing that is moist to begin with can get drenched. Again, there is an easy fix: use less broth when the stuffing goes in the bird. Err on the side of being too dry, because you can always moisten it later, but when stuffing is too wet, it's hard to dry it out. Rick's magic formula: 1 1/2 cups broth to every 8 cups of stuffing or bread cubes when cooked in the bird, and for dressing cooked separately from the bird, a maximum of 2 cups of broth for every 8 cups of bread.

See Dress Up Your Stuffingfor our collection of stuffing recipes and Thanksgiving 911for more holiday tips.

Recipe: Herbed Bread Stuffing with Mushrooms and Sausage

Marge Perry

November 2010