22 Nov Sabatoging Salmonella – Six steps to roasting your turkey safely: #5- Don’t stop roasting until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.
Just because a turkey is golden brown on the outside, doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat. Cooking a turkey safely is a matter of degrees! The goal is to kill the nanobugs like salmonella without overcooking and dehydrating the turkey flesh.
Whole birds should be cooked to 180 degrees F. The temperature should be measured in the innermost part of the thigh next to the breast. A turkey breast should be cooked to 170 degrees F. measured with a food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat.
The only way to know if the turkey meat is done and safe to eat, is to monitor the internal temperature with a food thermometer. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey or the breast, making sure not to touch bones, fat or gristle.
There are four kinds of thermometers available for this purpose.
- Dial Oven-Safe model: This one is to be inserted into the turkey when it goes into the oven and remains throughout the roasting.
- Dial Instant-Read model: This thermometer is used to periodically check the temperature of the turkey. It accurately displays temp after 15 to 20 seconds. It is not intended to stay in the turkey during the roasting.
- Digital Instant-Read model: This thermometer is used to periodically check the temperature. It does not stay in the food during the roasting. Check the temperature with this one when you think the bird is done – will only take 10 seconds with this thermometer.
- Pop-up Timer: Some turkey producers insert these devices into the birds before they are packaged. The devices are generally reliable within 1-2 degrees. However, it is best to use the pop-up timer as an alert and then confirm the proper temperature with a food thermometer.