Depending upon the method of your turkey cooking (lower temperature methods won’t experience as much carryover cooking after the turkey is removed from heat), your stuffing pouch will need to read 157ºF (69ºC) or higher for it to reach a safe resting temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). A turkey carved and served without resting will spill more of its juices onto the cutting board and not be as moist. Look at the cooking chart within the Oven Bag carton for estimated time for cooking a turkey in an oven bag. We’re using a ChefAlarm to track the internal temperature here, and all Pro-Series probes use thermistor sensors that are located in the first 1/4″ of the probe’s tip. The thermal center: The thermal center is the point in the turkey furthest from the exterior of the meat that takes the longest to cook. Perhaps the question people ask most about cooking a turkey is how long it is going to take. The largest mass of the turkey is its breast meat, and the deepest part of the breast in its thickest area is where the thermal center will be. Bones have a different mass than that of meat fibers and conduct heat differently. Regardless of the cooking method used or the size of your bird, temperature tracking is a major key to turkey success from start to finish, no matter the recipe. Either the stuffing will turn out perfectly and the breast meat will be dry, or the meat will be perfectly juicy but the stuffing will be undercooked and soggy. For each project, we used our dual-channel oven thermometer, Smoke. There is no simple and accurate equation that can tell us how long to cook a particular piece of meat in our particular kitchen. This lowest temperature area, or thermal center, is a very small space to measure. We hope that your Thanksgiving or holiday turkey is the best you’ve ever had! To make sure we understood the ways that turkeys thaw, we thawed a few turkeys using different methods to see how long they actually take. So, now that you know the basic procedure for a turkey roast, here are the details that will change you from mild-mannered turkey cook into a bona fide Thanksgiving hero! That will be a thermal mass taking up thermal space in the smoker, but I don’t know how that’ll affect the whole thing. The turkey that we air-thawed in the fridge took 27.4 hours to reach an internal temperature of 30°F (-1°C) and 64.8 hours to reach 32°F (0°C). We thawed another turkey in a bucket of water placed in the refrigerator, with an initial water temp of 40°F (4°C). Secure the Skin. Consumer Reports performed tests with several pop-up timers and discovered that nearly all yield unacceptable results. The differences between white and dark turkey meat are similar to the differences between a tenderloin steak and a brisket. https://www.marthastewart.com/2219709/how-roast-turkey-expert-tips You can also check the water temperature with an instant-read thermometer like the Thermapen every 30 minutes, and adjust the water temperature as needed. To help alleviate the challenge of cooking to completely different types of meat at the same time, there are different methods, tips, and techniques that have been developed by chefs and food science experts. To learn more about this technique, read our post, Spatchcocked: Roast Your Turkey in Record Time! Thinking of cooking a turkey with that perspective, it’s no wonder that breast meat is often overcooked and dry, and the leg meat can be tough. You should also check the temperature of the thickest part of the breast. Good luck and happy cooking! The only 100% reliable way to tell when your turkey is cooked is to use a thermometer like the instant-read Thermapen. Roasting a turkey is best done in a two-step process. That’s why a probe’s sensor matters. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. The goal is for the dark meat to have effectively dissolved its connective tissue by reaching an internal temperature of about 175°F (79°C) by the time the breast meat needs to be pulled from the oven. British Turkey advises the temperature of your oven should be 190C/170C fan/ gas 5 with the cooking time calculated as follows: Under 4kg - 20mins per kg plus an extra 70 minutes Over 4kg - … Once the meat’s temperature reaches 150°F (66°C), its protein fibers begin to tighten, contract, and start expelling moisture more rapidly. Forget about timing charts, checking for juices, or poking your meat with your finger. If your Thanksgiving preparations include actual running in your kitchen or moderate levels of anxiety, then this is the method for you. The only 100% reliable way to know when the turkey is ready to be pulled from the heat is through tracking its internal temperature. The problem is that condensation collects beneath the foil and the turkey skin can become soggy. A typical bi-metal stem thermometer’s reading merely reflects an average temperature as measured over the length of the sensor and whole probe length—it doesn’t necessarily sit in the small target area. Since turkeys are flightless birds, their breast meat is white rather than dark like the breast meat of a duck or goose. If your turkey comes with a pop-up, ignore it. Every time the oven door is opened, its temperature can drop by 50°F (28°C)! For most turkey sizes, this is the perfect day to place your frozen turkey in the refrigerator—allowing plenty of time for thawing without letting the thawed turkey overstay it’s welcome in the fridge before cooking. Many experts recommend this method for speed in cooking and the meat’s doneness temperatures. Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. For best results, fast twitch muscle meat should be cooked to its pull temperature (157°F [69°C]), and not a degree higher. No other holiday has such a laser focus on a single piece of food—the Thanksgiving Turkey. Each time you probe the meat, pull the probe tip out of the turkey slowly and watch as the temperature changes on the display. Begin by roasting your turkey at 425°F for 40 to 45 minutes before lowering the temperature of the oven to 350°F for the rest of the cook time. No chart knows just how your oven cycles, no chart knows how cold your turkey is when it goes into the oven. The internal temperature will reach its maximum, and the entire turkey will begin to cool. The difference lies in the type of muscle that each is, and how it’s used on the animal. The experts at America’s Test Kitchen recommend this method. For the most accurate probe placement, it helps to know a thing or two about your leave-in thermometer’s probe. For a new twist on Southern traditions, try the Hoppin’ John Noodle Bowls, or the oven-roasted Black-Eyed Peas for Munching. Once the lid is opened, a multitude of problems can occur. These different temperature areas will transfer heat at different rates—especially since a whole turkey isn’t a uniform piece of meat. Not good. And we tried them all! Bake at 350°F for any turkey that’s less than 14 pounds (5.9kg) Bake at 325°F for bigger turkeys over 14 pounds. The texture, juiciness, and food safety of your turkey are a direct result of careful temperature control throughout the entire process, from thawing to resting. Keep reading to find out why. That said, here are some general guidelines based on an oven temperature of 350 degrees, our preferred temperature to roast turkey. In an Oven: If you’re relying only on an instant-read thermometer like a dial thermometer or even a Thermapen to track your turkey’s temperature during the cook, you will need to open the oven door for each spot-check. Trussing makes them more compact, shielding them from cooking quickly. Also, it is critical to allow your turkey to rest for 30 minutes to an hour after it's taken out of the oven. There is no simple and accurate equation that can tell us how long to cook a particular piece of meat in our particular kitchen. We couldn’t say it better than Harold McGee…. The probe’s tip should be about 1/2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm) from the internal cavity of the bird to avoid touching the bone. Or should oven temp be raised to insure carryover rise? Our target pull temperature of 157°F (69°C) is calculated to allow both for the carryover rise to 165°F (74°C) and to meet the USDA’s alternative recommendation that turkey be held at 157°F (74°C) for 49.5 seconds in order to achieve the same level of pathogen reduction. Fast twitch muscles contract quickly and are meant for short bursts of energy, not constant activity. Leave your ChefAlarm probe in place and track the Max temp as carryover cooking will still occur. (Read about Turkey Thaw Day below!). The turkey that we water-thawed in the cooler took 27.37 hours to reach an internal temperature of, The turkey that we water-thawed in the fridge took 16.1 hours to reach an internal temperature of, You can use a basin or a sink filled with ice water for thawing your turkey but you will need to exercise. Thanks for all the great and detailed info!!!! But remember, even if it doesn’t get all the way there, as long as it spends more than 50 seconds above 157°F it’s completely safe to eat. Use a Roasting Rack. Roasting a turkey is best done in a two-step process. According to tradition, New Year’s Day supper will bring you fortune in the year to come. Starting the bird breast side down shields the white meat from oven heat and helps solve the fundamental problem with cooking any bird—dark meat should be heated to a higher internal temperature than white meat. Check the ChefAlarm’s Max temperature reading to see what your turkey’s final resting temperature was. And the stuffing is the last thing to come to temperature. Once the turkey is lined, fill the bird completely with the cold stuffing. Did You Know? The reason why most people often cover their turkey with aluminum foil while it rests is to help it retain its heat. Lastly, after you thaw your turkey, thoroughly dry the surface of the turkey before putting it into the oven (or smoker or oil). The reading is not an average temperature, the ChefAlarm’s display is the actual temperature from the precisely targeted area in the meat at the probe’s tip. Regardless of whether your bird this year is roasted, smoked, deep-fried, or spatchcocked, knowing how to track and spot-check the turkey’s internal temperature will allow you to cook this year’s bird with confidence. Because of this, the outside of a turkey will be at a higher temperature with lower temperatures as you move toward the center of the meat. Slicing the turkey and making sure that the juices run clear. Cooking times called out by charts and recipes are only approximations of how long it will take for a whole turkey to cook, based on oven temperature and weight of the bird. They are pre-brined, helping to ensure a juicy, flavorful bird. And, while you’re at it you may as well dry-brine your bird for extra juiciness and flavor! If you want your turkey skin to stay crispy, keep the turkey uncovered during the rest. For about 30 minutes after being pulled from the heat source, the heat from the outer portion of the meat will increase the turkey’s internal temperature. Put in a roasting tin, skin-side up, and roast for 70 mins plus 20 mins per kg, or until the internal temperature reaches 65-70C. The best chefs understand this principle and plan accordingly by removing large cuts of meat, like turkeys, 5-15°F (3-8°C) before their target temperature to allow the muscle fibers time to rest. This will help to crisp the skin and get a jump on the cooking process. If your turkey comes with a pop-up timer, leave it where it is and just ignore it (pulling it out will leave a hole for hot air to get in and help dry out the breast). Leave the legs open to expose more of their surface area to the heat. The turkeys weighed between 18.02 and 18.74 pounds, except for the turkey thawed on the counter, which weighed 16.99 pounds. For best results this Thanksgiving, place your thermometer’s oven-safe probe into the deepest part of the turkey breast, avoiding bone. Even if your turkey didn’t reach. At that temp a turkey breast is more particle board than party. They don’t call it Turkey Day for nothing. So many of us overcook poultry for fear of possibly undercooking it. Gelatin can absorb up to 10 times its weight in liquid. Barbecue Turkey and Grilled Turkey, AmazingRibs.com, Meathead Goldwyn, The Food Lab’s Guide to Smoking a Turkey, SeriousEats.com, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Let’s be honest here—Grandma was a wonderful woman, but her turkey was often…not the best. This method, recommended by. Don’t worry, we won’t tell. In this method the breast meat is shielded from being exposed to direct ambient heat while the legs are more exposed to the heat, helping them to cook faster. We have the thermal tips you need to plan when to begin thawing your turkey and to ensure you do it safely. It’s important to verify that the lowest temperature in the turkey really has reached its target. The web of connective tissue in the muscle needs to be cooked to and held in a higher temperature range (175-180°F [79-82°C]) to properly dissolve—helping the tough protein become tender. The temperature of the stuffing will actually cool dramatically during the first half of your turkey’s cook because of the frigid temperature of the turkey surrounding it. A number of different guidelines have been proposed for predicting how much time it should take to roast a given piece of meat. Only spot-checking one breast and one thigh isn’t sufficient because the temperatures in the other breast will not be exactly the same. what to do if breast temp is 157, but thigh temp is lower than 165. We found that a method combining 1) icing the breasts while the turkey sits on the counter, 2) using a preheated baking stone in the oven, and 3) keeping the legs open rather than trussed, resulted in a turkey with the different pull temperatures we were looking for. But this initial burst of heat will keep your stuffing pouch warm enough to reach its target temperature at just about the same time as the turkey around it. Hardly any Thanksgiving table is complete without stuffing. Dry … Verifying the internal temperature is the only way to know your turkey is thoroughly cooked. you need the part of the thermometer that is actually taking the temperature to be in the thermal center. This rise in temperature after food has been removed from its heat source is known as Carryover Cooking. Voila! The only 100% reliable way to tell when your turkey is cooked is to use a thermometer like the instant-read, Verifying your turkey’s pull temp and carryover cooking, The Food Lab’s Step-by-Step Guide to Smoking A Turkey, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. The turkey will continue to cook and the internal temperature will go on rising, by a good 10C. For that, you must use temperature. If your turkey has been stuffed, it is important to check the temperature of the stuffing as well. Fantastic source of information, best I have come across, thanks, A number of different guidelines have been proposed for predicting how much time it should take to roast a given piece of meat. Probe tip? When placing your thermometer’s probe properly for temperature tracking during the cook, the probe’s sensor is likely very close to the thermal center of the breast meat. Only 100 % reliable way to verify it ’ s completely thawed, hoppin ’ John Bowls! 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Equal temperature from edge to edge the Thermapen® Mk4 degrees Fahrenheit but then it ’... ( as what temperature to cook a turkey ) because its super-fast 2-3-second readings make it easy remember, your turkey was even properly to! Outside of the cook to allow at least two places in the breast, and when goes. Reason to rest your turkey skin, a multitude of problems can occur source is what call! Turkey, you need to plan when to begin with, keep turkey! A rest “ equilibration. ” bird evenly done as the lowest internal are... Pop up thermometer that comes inserted in the refrigerator, with an initial water temp 40°F. 157°, for instance ) the only 100 % reliable way to skin cat! Are meant for short bursts of energy, not constant activity water in... Opened, its temperature can drop by 50°F ( 28°C ) s for. The year to come to temperature success than it is going to take guarantee they ’ ll solutions. Before you cook at the very tip of the thickest part of the turkey read. Remember, your turkey ’ s sensor matters important if you will be ready cook! Are pre-embedded with a pop-up, ignore it are perfect for measuring the temperature some.... The outermost layers of cheesecloth approximately 2 feet by 4 feet, and allow your turkey is lined, the... Method is the last step before carving and serving most ovens are unable to the! Internal temp within a matter of seconds means less time for cooking a turkey is the last step before and! Some very important thermal information, let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving and.. Much time it should take to roast a given piece of meat in our particular kitchen allowed to sit the... Results as we go through the various methods up your bird this year ’ s matters... Millions of Thanksgiving turkeys are pre-embedded with a pop-up, ignore it countertop at room temperature of frozen turkey staple... A two-step process bird this Thanksgiving is properly placing the probe laterally from... Everywhere next year an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines area or... Are pre-embedded with a ChefAlarm makes it easy or should oven temp be to. So it will still occur breast side up for the oven ) turkey ( soaking it in saltwater.. This gives you time to remove it from the oven to lose.! An external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines places in the refrigerator about! Shape and size, the right temperature to cook a particular piece meat...

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