How do I take the turkey's temperature



It is important know how to take the turkey's temperature to ensure the bird is cooked safely, but not overcooked and dry.

Insert the probe of the thermometer into the inner thigh, on the side closest to the breast. The tip of the thermometer should be at the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. (The bone may give a falsely hot reading).

The bird is safe to consume when the temperature hits 165F. If the bird is stuffed, it is very important to be sure that the thermometer stuck into the center of the stuffing registers 165F. (Note that the USDA recommends cooking stuffing separately for optimal safety).

The most important and only foolproof test for doneness is using an accurate thermometer. The USDA emphasizes that color is not an accurate or reliable way to check for doneness, so a thermometer is an absolute necessity. For more turkey tips, see Top Turkey Questions Answeredand Turkey 101.

Marge Perry

November 2010