Turkey Temp checking.

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CharlieD

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I was reading Sara Moulton turkey recipe, and she suggests checking the temperature in the leg/thigh joint. I thought that one should check the temperature in the breast.

Two questions.

First. What do you do if you do not have legs? I cut them off and use them for soup.

Second. Where do you check the temp?
 
i think the traditional wisdom is in the thickest part of the meat, as long as you don't touch the bone.
That's what I do. But, for turkey, chicken, or Cornish game hen, I check the thigh and the breast. The thigh might not be ready and the breast might be. In that case, I can turn the bird or cover the breast with foil.

@CharlieD Just check the thickest part of the breast, making sure that the thermometer isn't touching bone. You will get a much better idea of how long to cook that bird when you aren't trying to have the legs and breast ready at the same time.
 
What tax lady said is right on. Also, check the temperature at more than one spot on the bird and put the turkey into the oven feet first because the back of the oven is hotter than the front and the thighs cook more slowly.
 
I like the white meat to be around 150ºF-155ºF and the dark meat about 20ºF hotter. When you rest the turkey before carving, it will finish cooking to the right temps.
 
What tax lady said is right on. Also, check the temperature at more than one spot on the bird and put the turkey into the oven feet first because the back of the oven is hotter than the front and the thighs cook more slowly.
Didn't know about feet first. Thank you
 
My birds have always gone in sideways. I do rotate about half time or a bit later. Never tried to fit in feet first.

LOL sound ominous! or rather reckless - Go on! Just jump right in feet first!
 
My birds have always gone in sideways. I do rotate about half time or a bit later. Never tried to fit in feet first.
Same here. I knew that the back of my toaster oven is hotter than the front. I never actually wondered if it was the same in the big oven.

I don't think I have a roasting pan that fits a turkey and fits in the oven in such a way as to put it feet first. But, I will try to remember that for roasting chicken. That's far more likely in any case. I'm not a big fan of turkey and there's only the two of us. If I buy turkey, it's a turkey part or parts.

Edited because, I just realized that the blue speckled, two part roasting pan would would work for turkey. I could put the pan in the "sideways" direction and put the turkey the other way. Still highly unlikely that I will ever do that. ;)
 
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Well, I don't really know what I did or how. The oven at my MIL, was weird, I had to play with the temperature, and the bird. In the end it was great. Even though thermometer showed all kind of different temps thru the bird, I went with my intuition and it was perfect.
Thank you everybody.
 
Well, I don't really know what I did or how. The oven at my MIL, was weird, I had to play with the temperature, and the bird. In the end it was great. Even though thermometer showed all kind of different temps thru the bird, I went with my intuition and it was perfect.
Thank you everybody.
I'm glad it went well for you, Charlie.
 
Before I started using the Julia Child method, I had two in-oven thermometers, one to take the breast temperature and one to take the bird's rectal temperature (in the stuffing). Now I use one implanted in the breast and check the dark meat occasionly with an instant read thermometer.
 
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