Cooking a turkey perfectly can be a bit of a challenge on account of its size. There is also the fact that other parts of the turkey may cook faster than other parts. This makes it difficult to determine where to put the thermometer in the turkey.
Ensure that you use a well-calibrated thermometer or have an offset in mind to increase the accuracy of your readings.
How To Take Accurate Turkey Temperature
In order to check turkey temp, you need to check the temperature in the thickest part of the turkey breast as well as the thickest part of the thigh. Both of these parts have thick muscles that will generally take longer to cook.
How To Put Digital Thermometer In Turkey
To get the best reading to insert the thermometer in the space between the wing and the drumstick at the thickest part of the turkey breast. Make sure the thermometer does not touch any bones as they tend to have a different temperature as compared to the meat.
How Long Do You Leave A Meat Thermometer In A Turkey?
Most thermometers nowadays are instant in nature and they should register a temperature in 10 to 20 seconds. As such, you do not need to leave the thermometer in the turkey as it cooks. Always remember to wipe down the thermometer after use and before using it again to avoid cross-contamination. As you will be measuring the temperature are different stages of doneness.
The good thing is you can leave it for long enough without standing there is you are using a wireless Bluetooth meat thermometer.
How To Tell A Turkey Is Done Without A Meat Thermometer?
This requires you to pierce the turkey preferably in the thigh since that part takes the longest time to cook. If the juices run clear, the turkey is done. If the juices run reddish pink, then you need to cook the turkey a bit more. Then check again to see if the juice will run clear.
As a general of thumb, calculate the cooking time it would take to cook the size of turkey you have. On average, a 20-pound turkey will take about 4 hours to cook at 325°F in the grill or oven. As long as you do not open the oven to peek at least for the first 3 hours. As this will reduce the oven temperature and prolong the cooking time.
How To Clean A Meat Thermometer
A meat thermometer has the potential to cause very severe food poisoning if it is not cleaned properly. A simple step that is done properly can become a regular run in the mill activity that can be completed in a jiffy. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
While you may think it is difficult to do learning how to clean a meat thermometer will take you a few minutes if not seconds.
How Do You Sterilize A Meat Thermometer?
One of the easiest ways to clean the thermometer is by investing in alcohol wipes for food thermometers that you can use to wipe down the thermometer before and after use before you store it. The advantage of using the wipes is you do not have to boil water and dip the thermometer. You could also end up forgetting to do this step when cleaning up after cooking is done.
That said, actually using hot water and soap to clean and sanitize a food thermometer is the safest option to avoid food poisoning especially when grilling on the go with a tabletop grill. So make sure you carry out this step even if you have the alcohol wipes. They serve as a band-aid and not magical glue. Especially if you have a probe thermometer.
Another preferred method of cleaning a probe thermometer is using a highly acidic solution such as a diluted vinegar spray to kill bacteria and sterilize the thermometer. Also, ensure to wipe down other parts of the thermometer such as the LCD display screen or the recalibration hinge that cannot be submerged in hot water and dish soap. As they can be harboring ground for deadly germs.
Essentially, you should treat the thermometer the way a surgeon treats their tools of the trade. Clean them up before and after use using food-grade anti-microbial cleaning agents.