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Internal turkey temperature for juicy turkey

TrishUntrapped Nov 13, 2009 12:31 PM

Every year someone asks the question on this board what temperature a turkey should be cooked to for thoroughness and maximum flavor and juiciness.

I haven't seen the question asked this year...so I will have to do it because I forget....

  1. f
    fourunder Nov 13, 2009 12:42 PM

    Depending on who you want to believe.......taking into account the resting period, you will find answers ranging from 155* - 165* to remove the turkey from the oven.....Some will say 170* regardless of the resting period or not.


    I cook the turkey @ 225*......low and slow........with legs & thighs removed and the breasts split flat.......all cooked/roasted on a rack. I opt for the lower end of 155* myself.


    2 Replies
    1. re: fourunder
      bushwickgirl Nov 13, 2009 01:01 PM

      Absolutely, considering carry-over cooking, I pull mine out at 155* as well, regardless of what the USDA says. After resting for 20-30 minutes, the internal temp goes up to at least 165*. I do not stuff, BTW.

      1. re: bushwickgirl
        opinionatedchef Nov 13, 2009 02:51 PM

        I agree w/ both of you. Anyth over 155 and it's just another DRY bird; ugh.

    2. a
      adamshoe Nov 13, 2009 03:57 PM

      Depends where you take it's temp. (anally or orally!!) White meat should be @ 155-160, dark @ 165-170. It's tough to do that without cutting the bird first or icing down the breast and cavity a la cooks illustrated. adam

      1. v
        Val Nov 13, 2009 04:00 PM

        But, if the bird is stuffed...don't you take the temp of the stuffing?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Val
          elfcook Nov 13, 2009 04:19 PM

          If I remember right, the center of the stuffing should be 165. I always stuff my bird, and cook the extra in the oven. People can pick which they want, but the stuffing from inside the bird always goes first!

          1. re: elfcook
            Val Nov 13, 2009 05:35 PM

            That's my experience too...stuffing from the bird is highly sought after! It's so much moister and has more turkey flavor!

        2. TrishUntrapped Nov 14, 2009 04:35 AM

          Thanks everyone. I think we take it out around 150 - 155 degrees. I also go by my instincts a little when it comes to removing the bird from the oven. I am not going to serve rare turkey, but I do want it as juicy and succulent as possible.

          1. hpman247 Nov 14, 2009 04:42 AM

            I'm going to set my probe thermometer for 160 and take it out immediately when it goes off. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes and carve away :D~

            1. bayoucook Nov 14, 2009 04:51 AM

              My turkey is always very juicy. I bake it breast down on a vee-rack, with water/broth/wine in the roasting pan. I turn it right side up the last 45 minutes and brown the top. The juices always literally jump out with the first cut. It's a recipe I got out of Bon Appetit 30+ years ago. An herb mixture is gently inserted under the skin before baking - lots of garlic, too.
              It's really good, and always consistent. I reduce the liquid in the pan to add to the giblet gravy.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bayoucook
                fourunder Nov 14, 2009 05:00 AM


                Do you rest your bird? The juices should not be jumping out.....:-)

                1. re: fourunder
                  bayoucook Nov 14, 2009 05:29 AM

                  Yes, I rest it. Maybe I put it wrong, but it really is juicy all the way through.

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