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Internal turkey temperature for juicy turkey

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....

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  1. 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

      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

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

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: Val

          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

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

        2. 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. 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. 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


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

                1. re: fourunder

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