How do I take the turkey's temperature?  


About Our Expert

If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

Send Marge your cooking questions

Like Marge on Facebook

Browse Marge Perry's Recipes

Video Tips from Marge

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
Nov, 2010
  1. Enter at least one ingredient