Why use the bird for your container? Use your crockpot and and your stuffing will be ready when you are. I've cooked this with several variations. Lately the family likes cranberries instead of apples so I use water instead of the apple cider and put in 1 1/2 cups of cranberries and omit the apples. I think the key to this stuffing is Bells Stuffing Mix. It really smells and tastes wonderful. For the sausage, I use one of those breakfast sausage rolls. To plump up the cranberries, put them in hot water while you cook the sausage, onions and celery. Use that water for the recipe so that you don't pour any favor down the drain. 16 oz of Bells Stuffing says it stuffs a 20 lb bird but with all the extras here, I'm sure we're talking 25 lbs so this makes a decent amount of stuffing.