Is Stuffing & Dressing The Same Thing? Which Is Better?
Is it stuffing or dressing? And, are they the same thing?
Here is a letter from a husband and a wife having one of those arguments that we all have. It's over something stupid, but the battle will rage until someone with authority steps in. Who better than Dear Abby and Alton Brown. Read the letter below:
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have the same argument every year around Thanksgiving. He says there is a difference between stuffing and dressing. I say they're the same thing, except that stuffing is baked in the turkey, while dressing is baked separately in a casserole dish.
My husband insists I'm wrong -- that the difference has nothing to do with how it's cooked. He thinks stuffing is made with regular bread, while dressing is made with cornbread.
The debate is driving me crazy. Will you please tell me who is right? -- STUFFING VS. DRESSING IN OHIO
Here's Abby's answer:
DEAR STUFFING VS. DRESSING: The terms "dressing" and "stuffing" are interchangeable. They refer to a seasoned mixture used to stuff meat or poultry. It makes no difference what kind of bread is used.
Some tips: If you plan to stuff your turkey, be sure all the ingredients are pre-cooked (i.e. vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood). Using pasteurized liquid eggs is safer than using raw eggs. The bird should be loosely stuffed, not packed because stuffing expands while cooking, and the turkey should be stuffed right before it is put into the oven, never ahead of time.
The stuffing takes the longest of the bird's components to reach the desired safe temperature (165 degrees). Once the stuffing is in the turkey, it should not be removed until the turkey is ready to be carved.
Here's Food Network's Alton Brown's take on dressing vs stuffing:
"Lots of things could go in the cavity of the bird. Only one thing shouldn't: stuffing. Stuffing is evil. STuffing adds mass, so it slows the cooking. That's evil because the longer the bird cooks, the drier it will be. And since the cavity is a perfect haven for salmonella bacteria you have to be absolutely certain that the cavity is headed through to 165 degrees F, which means overcooking at least part of the bird....which is evil."