where to put thermometer in turkey

Cooking a perfect turkey can be a tricky task if you’re new to the bird or you only do it at Thanksgiving (that’s most of us!).

One of the keys to making sure it’s juicy and delicious is knowing where to put the thermometer in the turkey to check if your bird is cooked to the right temperature.

Here, we’ll go over how to take your bird’s temperature and where to put the thermometer.

Things you need to know before using a thermometer with turkey

To ensure accurate temperature readings and avoid undercooked or overcooked meat, there are some important things you need to know before using a thermometer with a turkey.

1. What is the safe temperature for turkey?

To ensure safety and proper cooking, the USDA recommends using a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends Turkey should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F/74°C to be safe to eat. Contrary to government suggestions, some chefs cook breast meat at 157°F/69°C to keep it from drying out.

2. What tools do I need to measure the right temperature?

You’ll want a reliable thermometer to gauge the temperature of your turkey. There are two commonly used thermometers that home cooks use on turkey:

An instant-read thermometer, like the Typhur InstaProbe™, is a handheld device that you insert into the turkey to get an accurate temperature reading fast; an oven-safe leave-in probe thermometer stays inside the turkey while it cooks and provides a continuous temperature reading.

3. Where is the best place to insert a thermometer in turkey?

To get an accurate temperature reading of your turkey, it’s best to take the temperature from three different spots making sure to avoid touching any bone: the joint between the thigh and the body, the joint between the leg and thigh and the thickest part of the breast.

How to check a Turkey’s Temperature

If you’re looking for accurate, consistent results, the temperature is the key. So let’s show you how to check a turkey’s temperature using a meat thermometer.

The thermometer we are using is Typhur InstaProbe™, an instant-read meat thermometer with 0.75 seconds reading speed and ±0.5℉ accuracy. It’s easy to use with Built-in magnets, combined with IP67 waterproof, auto on/off, and shake-to-wake features to create means of a highly flexible and practical thermometer.

Step 1. Turn the InstaProbe on by pulling out the probe.

Step 2. Insert the InstaProbe thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh, being careful not to touch the bone.

Step 3. Check the temperature on the thermometer display. The turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 157°F/69°C.

Step 4. If the temperature is lower than 157°F/69°C, continue cooking the turkey and check the temperature again after a few minutes.

Step 5. Once the turkey has reached the correct temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

check internal temperature of turkey

Thermometer FAQs for cooking with turkey

Q: Can I leave a thermometer in the turkey while cooking?

If it’s oven-safe, yes. Otherwise, utilize an InstaProbe to get a result in less than a second!

Q: Check turkey temperature without a thermometer

An instant-read thermometer is the best way to check if a turkey is cooked to a safe temperature.
However, if you do not have an instant-read or meat thermometer, you can use visual cues to figure out if your turkey is cooked or not.
When you cut into the turkey breast or thigh and the juices run clear (no red), it’s likely cooked through. The other thing to look for is the color of the flesh — if it’s white, it’s fully cooked; if it’s pink or red, it is not done.

Wrapping Up

Many people don’t know where to insert a thermometer in turkey, it’s hard to ensure a perfectly cooked and safe-to-eat turkey.

Using the right tools and inserting the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat will give you accurate temperature readings.

Happy cooking!