Friday, November 20, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey!

There are so many resources for cooking turkey I'm not going to get into the subject except for one thing: temperature!

Simply put, turkeys get dried out because they're overcooked. Brining helps and you have to be careful with the drippings because they'll be salty, but the biggest thing is temperature. The FDA guideline for when a turkey is done is 165 degrees, but a turkey will keep cooking after it's taken out of the oven just like any other roast, so I suggest you think about removing the bird when the temperature in the thigh is 155-160.

Whatever you do, if you've bought one of those birds with the little pop-up plastic timer thingy, ignore it. Paying attention to that will result in a dried-out bird every time.


  1. Good info. My Mom goes by the pop-up plastic timer for our turkey. Not sure I'll be able to convince her to do it differently this year. She comes from the old school of overcooking all meats. God love her. Good thing there's gravy.
    Have a great Thanksgiving, Bob!

  2. Hi again, well my comment was accepted so decided to post another. Here in Australia adding turkey to the Xmas meal is a new innovation, so now as well as Pork, Ham & Chicken we now add Turkey to the traditional Xmas fare. Eating Turkey at christmas started here around the late 80's early 90's, if my memory serves me correctly and of course learning to cook it successfully was a bit of an adventure, the joy of which our family delegated our mother to undertake. I remember her horror the first time she bought one of these birds home to cook, it was so big she had to start cooking for Christmas lunch on christmas eve as she couldn't cook all of the usual meat and veggies as well as the giant turkey in the oven at once. It turned out a bit dry but we all enjoyed it immensely and so it became a staple on our traditional christmas menu, which by the way is usually cooked and consumed on 35-40 degree (celsius) days. Stupid Aussies!!! sorry for the length of the comment, thought you might be interested in the Aussie experience....