Step 16. Before returning the turkey to the oven, insert the remote thermometer probe into the thickest part of the thigh. It’s important not to put the probe against a bone or inside the cavity. Set the thermometer to sound an alarm when the thigh has reached 165-170 degrees. 

Where in the heck is the thickest part of the thigh? If you’re confused about this, you have a lot of company. I’ve been frustrated most of my turkey cooking life by all of the instructions that tell me to take the temperature at the thickest part of the thigh without telling me how in the world to find it. You’re supposed to avoid hitting a bone or the inside of the cavity. Really? How do I know when that has happened. Sure the bone is hard if I hit it, but how do I know if I’m too close to a bone? 

It helps to understand the location of a turkey’s body parts. In the image below, you can see that the thigh is located beneath and behind the leg.  Thanks to T-Man (techie guy) for creating this graphic.

The photo below shows you 3 different places you can insert the thermometer to get to the thigh meat (#1 and #3 consistently work the best for me). But, how do you know how far to put it into the bird? It’s impossible to answer that precisely, because every turkey is a little different (just like people). Not only does their size vary, but the position and angle of the legs & thighs can differ slightly.

I googled and googled and googled and finally found some good advice on this in a blog post by David Leite. Here’s his “hunt and peck” procedure that totally works for me every time:

  1. Insert the thermometer probe into the partially cooked turkey and keep an eye on the changing temperature as you’re inserting it. 
  2. Poke around and move the thermometer up and down or in and out until you find the coolest reading–that’s the bulls eye–the thickest part of the thigh.
  3. Leave the thermometer in the spot with the coolest reading and return it to the oven.
  4. Now wait until the temperature is at a minimum of 165 degrees that is recommended for safety by the USDA.  Don’t let it cook beyond 170 degrees to avoid an overcooked, dry turkey. (This is where the alarm comes in handy.)
Step-by-Step Guide to The Best Roast Turkey

Step-by-Step Guide to The Best Roast Turkey

Ingredients

14-16 pound turkey, fresh or thawed
1 teaspoon salt (omit if turkey has been brined)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, quartered
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1-2 sprigs fresh parsley
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1-2 sprigs fresh sage
2-3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

Instructions

  1. Remove turkey from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Coat roasting pan and rack with cooking spray and set aside.
  4. TO PREP THE TURKEY:
  5. Remove neck and giblets from turkey main and neck cavities. (These can be discarded or used to make broth for gravy or soup.)
  6. If turkey has a metal or plastic clamp holding the legs together, remove and discard it.
  7. Add salt and pepper to the turkey cavity and rub with hand to distribute inside cavity. Stuff the cavity with lemon, onion (reserving one onion quarter), and herbs.
  8. Overlap skin at cavity opening to cover as much of gap as possible; use toothpicks or small turkey skewers, if needed, to hold skin in place. Tie legs together with twine.
  9. Insert remaining onion quarter under skin covering neck cavity. Tuck wing tips under turkey body, using them to hold skin over neck cavity in place.
  10. Pat turkey dry with a paper towel and brush breast side all over with olive oil. Flip turkey over, breast side down, onto rack in roasting pan. Brush with olive oil so entire turkey is coated.
  11. TO COOK THE TURKEY:
  12. Place in 400 degree oven uncovered. After 1 hour, lower heat to 350 degrees and cook for an additional hour for turkeys 14 pounds or larger (45 minutes for smaller turkeys).
  13. Remove from oven and flip turkey over so it is breast side up. Insert a remote probe thermometer into thickest part of thigh. Return turkey to oven and set thermometer monitor alarm to sound at 165 degrees.
  14. (TIP: To avoid over-browning on top, keep an eye on the turkey in the last hour and loosely tent it with aluminum foil if it's browned enough before the desired internal temperature is reached. This may or may not be necessary, depending on individual ovens--some cook more evenly than others.)
  15. When thigh temperature reaches 165 to 170 degrees, remove from oven. Use an instant read thermometer to check temperature of other thigh. Also check thickest part of breast--it should be 160 degrees. If not, return to oven.
  16. Cooking times can vary. 13 minutes cooking time per pound is a good estimate. It should take a 14-16 pound turkey a total of 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours to cook. An 18 pound turkey takes closer to 4 hours. These times are ballpark and can vary; that's why using a thermometer is important for determining exactly when the turkey is done.
  17. When fully cooked, remove turkey from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest undisturbed for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes. Carve and serve.
https://yupfoodie.com/recipe/a-step-by-step-guide-to-the-best-roasted-turkey/
Step-by-Step Guide to The Best Roast Turkey

Step-by-Step Guide to The Best Roast Turkey

Ingredients

14-16 pound turkey, fresh or thawed
1 teaspoon salt (omit if turkey has been brined)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, quartered
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1-2 sprigs fresh parsley
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1-2 sprigs fresh sage
2-3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

Instructions

  1. Remove turkey from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Coat roasting pan and rack with cooking spray and set aside.
  4. TO PREP THE TURKEY:
  5. Remove neck and giblets from turkey main and neck cavities. (These can be discarded or used to make broth for gravy or soup.)
  6. If turkey has a metal or plastic clamp holding the legs together, remove and discard it.
  7. Add salt and pepper to the turkey cavity and rub with hand to distribute inside cavity. Stuff the cavity with lemon, onion (reserving one onion quarter), and herbs.
  8. Overlap skin at cavity opening to cover as much of gap as possible; use toothpicks or small turkey skewers, if needed, to hold skin in place. Tie legs together with twine.
  9. Insert remaining onion quarter under skin covering neck cavity. Tuck wing tips under turkey body, using them to hold skin over neck cavity in place.
  10. Pat turkey dry with a paper towel and brush breast side all over with olive oil. Flip turkey over, breast side down, onto rack in roasting pan. Brush with olive oil so entire turkey is coated.
  11. TO COOK THE TURKEY:
  12. Place in 400 degree oven uncovered. After 1 hour, lower heat to 350 degrees and cook for an additional hour for turkeys 14 pounds or larger (45 minutes for smaller turkeys).
  13. Remove from oven and flip turkey over so it is breast side up. Insert a remote probe thermometer into thickest part of thigh. Return turkey to oven and set thermometer monitor alarm to sound at 165 degrees.
  14. (TIP: To avoid over-browning on top, keep an eye on the turkey in the last hour and loosely tent it with aluminum foil if it's browned enough before the desired internal temperature is reached. This may or may not be necessary, depending on individual ovens--some cook more evenly than others.)
  15. When thigh temperature reaches 165 to 170 degrees, remove from oven. Use an instant read thermometer to check temperature of other thigh. Also check thickest part of breast--it should be 160 degrees. If not, return to oven.
  16. Cooking times can vary. 13 minutes cooking time per pound is a good estimate. It should take a 14-16 pound turkey a total of 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours to cook. An 18 pound turkey takes closer to 4 hours. These times are ballpark and can vary; that's why using a thermometer is important for determining exactly when the turkey is done.
  17. When fully cooked, remove turkey from oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest undisturbed for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes. Carve and serve.
https://yupfoodie.com/recipe/a-step-by-step-guide-to-the-best-roasted-turkey/

Total
117
Shares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Skip to toolbar