Where to Put the Thermometer in a Turkey

How to Monitor the Temperature of Your Turkey While Baking

Cooked turkey with sides and where to put the thermometer in a turkey.

Taking the temperature of turkey during cooking is crucial in preparing a juicy, delicious turkey. The difference between a well-prepared turkey and a dry disappointing mess is just a few degrees. One of the keys to having a perfectly cooked turkey is knowing where to put the thermometer in a turkey.

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As Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are fast approaching, ensure your kitchen has a meat thermometer rated to use in the oven. They are available today in many technologies, both analog and digital.

Most of us, at least on these days, will sit down at a table to feast on a turkey dinner, and you will not want to be disappointed with a poorly prepared turkey. 

If your kitchen still does not have a meat thermometer, then you should get one before the upcoming holidays or your next specifical dinner event when you might serve turkey. 

Best Selling Digital Meat Thermometers

Below are five (5) of the best selling digital model meat thermometers, most made for high-heat situations like ovens.

Click on any image to read reviews, see current pricing, or to see other thermometer options not shown.

Where to Place Your Thermometer in Your Turkey

Now that you have your thermometer and the bird, the next thing is to know where to put the thermometer in a turkey to take the correct and useful temperature.

To get the best result, insert your thermometer’s oven-safe probe into the deepest part of the turkey breast. You want to avoid areas with bones that will hinder the probe penetration. Bones will also give you a different thermometer reading than the skin. 

Additionally, bones are not in the thermometer’s center of the bird. The turkey’s deepest part will ensure that an even layer of meat covers the temperature reading probe.

Taylor Splash-Proof Dual Temperature Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer
  • Features a thermocouple temperature range of -67°F to 626°F/-55°C to 330°C
  • Features an infrared temperature range of -67°F to 482°F/-55°C to 250°C
  • 4” stem length with 1.5mm step down probe diameter
  • HACCP pass/fail light system and IP65 rated

How to Place the Thermometer’s Probe

Now that you know where to put the thermometer in turkey for the correct temperature reading let us now consider how to place the probe. 

Insert the probe horizontally from near the neck cavity. Ensure the probe tip is about half to one inch from the internal cavity of the bird. Doing this will help you to avoid reaching the bone. You can now monitor your bird’s temperature as it is cooking.

Finally, take notice that the breast and the leg usually cook at different temperatures. However, it is the breast that is very sensitive to overcooking. This part quickly dries out when overcooked. Therefore, ensure you keenly monitor its internal temperature.  

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In Closing

Following the steps above and using a meat thermometer for baking will allow you to have the perfect bird, turkey, or even chicken for your next dinner for friends or family.

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