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Nov 13, 2009 12:31 PM

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 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~