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How to Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done: 8 Steps

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You’ve spent hours getting a delicious turkey ready for one of the biggest meals of the year. Now it’s time to decide whether to pull the turkey out of the oven or leave it to cook longer. If you have a thermometer, you can easily see if the turkey has reached the food-safe temperature of . Don’t worry if you don’t have a thermometer; you can check to see if the turkey’s juices run clear.

Steps

Using a Thermometer

  1. Locate the turkey’s thigh. To find the thighs, look for the drumsticks. The thigh will be directly below the drumstick and next to the breast on both sides of the turkey.[1]
    • The thighs are dark meat, which take longer to cook than white meat, such as the breasts.
  2. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. You can use a standard or instant-read meat thermometer to determine the turkey’s internal temperature.[2] Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh that’s directly below the leg.[3].}}
    Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done Step 2.jpg
    • Ensure that the thermometer isn’t touching a bone, which could give your thermometer a false reading.
  3. Check to see if the turkey has reached . Leave the thermometer in the thigh until it’s registered the internal temperature. You can remove the turkey from the oven once it reaches and stays at that temperature for at least 1 minute.[4]
    Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done Step 3.jpg
    • Keep in mind that the turkey will continue to cook once you remove it from the oven, so don’t cook your turkey beyond or the meat will become dry.
  4. Remove the turkey and rest it for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and remove the roasting pan. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let it rest while you prepare gravy. Once the turkey has rested for 45 minutes, you can carve it.[5]
    Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done Step 4.jpg
    • The juices within the turkey will redistribute while the turkey rests. This will prevent the juices from running out of the turkey as soon as you start carving it.
    • Since most turkeys are large and will retain heat, there’s no need to cover the turkey while it rests.

Estimating Without a Thermometer

  1. Find the thighs on the turkey. If you don’t have a thermometer, you’ll need to determine if the turkey is done based on the part of the turkey that takes the longest to cook. Look directly below the drumsticks and next to the breasts to find the turkey’s thighs.[6]
    Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done Step 5.jpg
    • Since thigh meat is muscular and dark, it takes the longest time to cook.
  2. Insert the tip of a knife or a skewer into the thigh. Poke the knife or skewer into the crease between the thigh and the breast. This will probably be covered with skin that you’ll have to cut through.[7]
    Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done Step 6.jpg
    • You don’t need to cut very deep into the thigh. Cut about or until you see the juices start to run out.
  3. Look for clear juices. Once you’ve inserted the knife or skewer into the thigh, you should see juices run out. If the juices are clear, the turkey has finished cooking.[8] If you see blood or slightly red juices, the turkey isn’t done.[9]
    Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done Step 7.jpg
  4. Rest the turkey for 45 minutes once the juices run clear. Turn off the oven and take the roasting pan out of the oven. Then put the turkey on a cutting board and let it rest, so the juices redistribute within the meat.
    Tell if Thanksgiving Turkey Is Done Step 8.jpg
    • Make a gravy with the pan juices while you wait to carve the turkey.

Tips

  • If you’re using a digital thermometer, ensure it’s set to your preferred system, Celsius or Fahrenheit, for measuring temperature or the reading might appear off.

Things You’ll Need

Using a Thermometer

  • Meat thermometer
  • Knife
  • Cutting board

Estimating Without a Thermometer

  • Knife or skewer
  • Cutting board

References

Source: Wiki How