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Correct Temperature for Done Turkey

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi,

My first turkey attempt, several years ago was the best. The others have been good, but not quite as good (a brined, 14 lb. bird). I had read somewhere not to cook the turkey to the recommended temperature (as measured in the thigh), and I did that the first time, but I can't remember the temperature.

I think it was 160 degrees. And the turkey was perfect. Does anyone know if this sounds about right? In any event, wouldn't a bird be done @ 170 degrees, anyway?

Thanks.
post #2 of 7
Yes, but you have to take it out 25-30 minutes before you plan to serve it. Cover it and let the carry-over cooking time (and 5-10 degree increase in internal temperature) finish the job. The juices will redistribute and not run out when you carve it.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Mezzaluna.
post #4 of 7
Correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe the correct temperature for the breast meat is 160 degrees and the temperature for the thigh should be around 170
post #5 of 7
OK... I do "two" un-orthodox things when it comes to turkey... I really dislike turkey by the way... but... that is another story...
First... I use ... an electric knife!!! took 35 "stubborn" years to finally succomb to it! Man... it is like Samurai Joe when slicing!!! Felt like a logger in heat in the Oregon woods...
But... secondly... as the temp of the white succulent juicy meat hits 160 I take the bird out... and... with said electric knive proceed to very quickly, in a very effective fashion "cut out" the dark meat... which goes back in the 300 degree oven and continues to cook to 180 with its own juices... the white is wrapped and stays put in a warmer drawer... personally I feel that it is an IMPOSSIBILITY to physically cook the white and dark meat together at the proper doneness (spelling?).
But... sometime the problem will arise that I need the bird for presentation... since cost is never an issue with my clients, I use two birds... The number ONE is presented at the table with the white at 160 degrees... the number TWO is ready as previously mentionned... cooked in two stages and already sliced... they look at Bird number One... bunch of WOW! and OUS!... and bird number TWO is served... bird number One is then ripped apart for the dark meat to reach 180 and served if needed...
That this all makes sense or do I need to cut back on my quadruple espresso at 5am??? Hope it does and helps... it really works...
Be well... :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
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Personal Chef Ara
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post #6 of 7
i've always cooked breast and leg/thigh separately also(smaller birds-10-14lb i'll cook as is). A show bird or 2 for presentation and the rest wacked before going into the oven. for larger spreads, i buy seperately-dark meat here isn't eaten much-and toss in a few whole birds to break down for stock.
I'll pull breast about 150-155 and cover to carry over, dark meat 175 or so.
hth, danny
post #7 of 7
I really like Jame's Beard's response to this issue. From American Cookery, pages 223-224 in my edition. Bolding is mine.

Once the meat, light or dark is 160, its' safe. But people, mostly consumers, just panic at fowl with pink without understanding the facts.

But now I'm seeing duck breast cooked to less well-done stages than it used to be. These dark meats can be enjoyed in wider a range of temps than the white meat and really offer some new opportunities for cooks who can educate their diners.

Phi
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