Thanksgiving is one of the most food-centered days of the year, and just about the only time for a Turkey to shine. In this post, we’ll help you with one of the key principles of turkey cooking that you need to get a perfect bird this year!
While you can find any number of turkey recipes with varying methods and flavors they all have one thing in common: making sure your turkey is properly cooked. And the thermal principles that we talk about here for cooking your turkey are applicable to any recipe.
One thermometer is just not enough for perfectly cooked turkey. You need an oven-safe leave-in probe thermometer to track the temperatures during the cook and an instant read thermometer to verify doneness at the end. And to ensure that your leave-in thermometer is doing its job correctly, you need to make sure that your probe is in the right place.
The sensing tip is a small indentation located about 1 1/2 inches from the end of the stem and must be fully inserted into the bird. (Look for a tiny dimple on the stem.) The temperature should register in about 15-20 seconds. Wipe with a sanitizer after each use and before the next use.
The accuracy of your thermometer should be verified and the thermometer calibrated. Ideally, these thermometers should be calibrated when first purchased as well as checked for accuracy regularly. Accuracy can be altered if the thermometer has been exposed to extreme temperature changes or has been dropped. There are two simple ways to test for accuracy.
Fill a pan with about three inches of water and bring to a rolling boil. Place at least two inches of the thermometer stem into the water, making sure the sensing tip is fully inserted. Use caution to avoid burns. The tip should not touch the bottom or side of the pan.
These thermometers enable you to measure the internal temperatures of meat with the most accurate reading in the quickest time possible. They are not designed to stay in the food during cooking. If you use this type, pull the turkey out of the oven far enough to insert the stem about 2 1/2 inches into the thickest part of the meat, but not touching bone or the roasting pan.
The Right Internal Temperature for a Turkey
When the internal temperature registers a steady 165°F in the thigh, your turkey is done.
Step 11: Remove the right breast
Now that you have the left breast removed, rotate your turkey 180 degrees so the remaining breast is positioned once again on the left. You will need to steady the bird with your opposite hand. You should now see the breast bone as it runs down the center. Place your knife just to the left of the breast bone and slice in a downward motion while pulling the breast meat away with your opposite hand as you cut. Continue to follow the natural curve of the rib cage and follow through with your knife to the cutting board to remove the breast meat.
Where is the thigh on a turkey for thermometer?
To find the thigh, look for the drumstick (which sticks out from the body). Remember, the thigh is where the drumstick attaches to the body of the turkey.
How do you measure the thigh of a turkey?