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When it comes to cooking turkey whether it’d be thanks giving or not. Measuring its internal temperature the right way is very important. Knowing the temperature of your turkey is a way to make sure that it’s done right and is ready to be served.
Not only are we concerned about everyone’s health for consuming uncooked turkey can pose some dangers. But we want to make sure that tradition is done the right way. That’s why we EasefulKitchen Team wrote this article to inform people where to put a meat thermometer in the turkey breast.
Read on, and we’ll answer that question and more, for you to properly cook that turkey.
Table of Contents
The Basics: Putting Meat Thermometer in Turkey Breast
Straight up let’s talk about the hows and the whys that are involved when it comes to placing the meat thermometer the right way in your turkey breast.
It is important to take note that the USDA approved internal temperature to eat your turkey safely is at 165 degrees F. Now to get the proper temperature of the turkey proper probe placement should be observed.
You need to make sure to place your thermometer at the center of what is the thickest part of the breast. Please do take note that should you feel that you’ve reached the bone then you may have pushed too far. Remember that bones have different thermal properties than the meat of your turkey. So should you hit bones then most likely you’ll get an inaccurate reading of the temperature.
It’s also advised to try to insert the probe from its front so then it will travel parallel to the turkey’s bone. Please do insert your thermometer before roasting whether you are utilizing a traditional metal meat thermometer or a probe thermometer.
The metal probe will then conduct the heat into the breast part of the turkey so be sure to move your probe and try to another one just to make entirely sure of your reading.
You should also try to use two thermometers. We’re talking about an over-safe one that you can leave in the turkey while tracking the thermometer of it during cooking. And at the same time, use an instant-read thermometer as this type of thermometer is accurate on checking the doneness of the turkey.
Remember, should you be using an instant-read thermometer be sure to take the turkey from the oven by the time the end of the cooking time nears. And then insert this probe the same way you did the leave-in one earlier.
Just a few other tips before you say done. Before you read the temperature, be sure to let it stabilize for the utmost accuracy. Again, remember the USDA approved temperature, 165 degrees F once you get that reading then you’re pretty much set to take your turkey out of the oven.
Just be sure to let it rest for a good 15 minutes before carving it for your family and friends. This is a way to redistribute the juices of your turkey making it not only tastier but easier to carve.
Let’s Get a Bit Technical, Shall We?
Here are some more tips and tricks that you should know about your turkey and its temperature:
- As mentioned above, be sure to place the probe horizontally, nearer the neck cavity of your turkey.
- The probe’s tip should then be ½ to an inch from the turkey’s internal cavity for you to successfully not touch the bones.
- The next thing you got to know about is the temperature gradient. Sounds fancy but it just basically means the difference between the temperature of the external and internal parts. Surely, we are familiar with how is heat being transferred differently from one property to another, right? So that’s why there is a temperature gradient. This is important for when you cook your turkey at a higher temperature then it is almost automatic that the temperature gradient would also be high.
For example, cooking your turkey at a temperature of 450 degrees F would result in a larger area of the meat around the edges of your turkey to be overcooked. Then if you heat it at say, 250 degrees F.
- Next is to know what a thermal center is. I did say that we’re going to get a bit technical, right? The thermal center in this case refers to the turkey’s furthest point from the exterior of its meat. This means it’s the longest part of the turkey to cook.
What does this tell you? This gives us the reason why we put the probe of your thermometer on your turkey’s breast. The breast is the largest mass on your turkey and its center is the thickest. So, that’s where the thermal center is. We track the temperature there for it is the coldest spot in your turkey. And once it reaches the right temperature then you are certain that the rest of your turkey is well done.
A Video Can Make You More Understanding, Let’s Watch it?
Understanding Your Probe:
Alright, since we’ve had pretty much a crash course of turkey temperature and how to probe it right! Then it’s time to study the instrument a little bit. We’re talking about your thermometer and its probe, the most essential component for all of this. Well, right next to the turkey that is.
Out of the two thermometers you’ll be using, we think it is important to discuss the one that’s going to do the heavy lifting, your leave-in thermometer.
For most probes that are available in the market today, the sensor is most of the time only at the tip of it. That’s within an eighth of an inch at the very end of the probe.
Now, what’s popular nowadays are two types of thermometers, the dial, and digital types. Both models are inexpensive, precise, and at the same time super easy to read. Although the old metal version is just as good and they also come with a dial. They also won’t run out of battery.
But these old metallic dial-type thermometer or what we call the bi-metallic thermometers, they have what you can a minimum immersion depth of about 10 cm or 4 inches. This is not really good news as this means that you won’t get quite accurate readings with these long sensors.
With leave-in thermometers that have just its tip with the sensor. You’ll almost sure every time that you’ll get the most accurate readings at the thermal center of your turkey.
Turkey Thermometer Placement Image
So, What About Calibrating Thermometer?
Good question. No matter what type of thermometer you use, you have to calibrate it regularly to get the best and most accurate readings for your favorite turkey dish.
And, it’s super simple to do. All you have to do is to place the probe of your thermometer in a glass of ice with water. This ice and water concoction should measure at 0 degrees Celsius or that would be 32 degrees F.
Make adjustments accordingly should the measurement comes a bit off and always check the manual that comes with your thermometer for accurate results. There are a lot of thermometer probes nowadays that have awesome features. That will make your turkey coking sessions a breeze.
So, what are you waiting for? Go whip up that turkey and start making a fantastic dinner for everyone!
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