How to Insert a Meat Thermometer in a Turkey

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A meat thermometer should be inserted into the high part of the thigh on a turkey, as this offers the most accurate internal reading. Use an oven-safe meat thermometer effectively with help from a professional chef in this free video on cooking techniques.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Michelle Karam with Dishes by Michelle in Los Angeles, California. I'm here today to talk to you about how to properly use a meat thermometer when cooking a turkey. There are a few things you want to know about a meat thermometer before you buy one. The first one is you want to make sure that you have an oven safe thermometer. If it's not oven safe, you will have a melted mess on your bird, so that's the first thing you want to look for. The second thing you want to learn is where exactly do you insert a meat thermometer when cooking a turkey? You don't insert it in the breast, the reason being that the breast is one of the fastest places to cook on a bird. Lots of times you'll hear people say "oh, my bird is so dry, the breast was so dry," that's an over cooked bird. This is what will help you get to that perfectly cooked bird without any dry bird incidents. The best place to insert a meat thermometer in a turkey would be in the high portion of the thigh muscle. You don't want to touch the bone though because the bone is one of the places, also, that rises to the highest heat point and so if you put it in on the bone, you won't have an accurate reading. So, the best place to put it in is the high part of the thigh bone and you want to just go ahead and insert it in, like I said, not touching the bone. You will know your turkey's wellness or doneness if you go, and the temperature, the standard temperature when it's done will read 180 degrees Fahrenheit. That's the temperature you're looking for for a perfectly cooked bird. If you have stuffing inside of your turkey, which I like some stuffing in my turkey, you want to make sure it's at, when you insert it, you insert it directly into the center of your stuffing and make sure you've got it as far in as you can once again without touching the bone and you want to make sure that you get a reading of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have these two readings, you know that you have a perfectly cooked juicy, delicious Thanksgiving or any holiday time turkey. I'm Michelle Karam with Dishes by Michelle. Thank you so much for watching how to properly use a meat thermometer when cooking a turkey.

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