What Is a Safe Internal Temperature for Turkey? Here's How to Check

Serving up a perfect holiday bird is as easy as knowing what temperature turkey is done.

Whether it's your first year in charge of roasting the turkey for Thanksgiving or you want to know how to avoid overcooking your turkey, you're in the right place. Knowing the proper internal temperature of cooked turkey is key to ensuring the main course doesn't turn out dry from staying in the oven too long or undercooked and unsafe. Read on for our must-know method to accurately reading the internal temperature of turkey, including which part of the bird to check the turkey temperature in. You can rest assured you'll know when the roast is safe and ready to carve to put on the holiday table.

thermometer in turkey
Jason Donnelly

What Temperature Is Turkey Done?

Regardless of the size of your turkey, it's safe to eat once the turkey's internal temperature reaches 165°F using a meat thermometer. When roasting turkey, here are the turkey temperatures to follow:

  • Whole turkey: A whole cooked turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165°F on your meat thermometer ($22, Target) in the breast and 175°F in the thigh.
  • Whole turkey, stuffed: The center of the stuffing must reach 165°F.
  • Turkey breast, boneless: The thickest portion of the breast should reach 165°F.
  • Turkey breast, bone-in: The thickest portion of the breast should register 170°F.

Where to Check Turkey Temperature

You can use an oven-going thermometer by inserting it into the center of an inside thigh muscle, being careful not to touch the bone. If you use an instant-read thermometer, insert it into the center of the inside thigh muscle, checking the temperature in several places.

Timing and temperature are also important when roasting a turkey. Use our guide for how long to roast turkey to ensure the timing matches the size of your bird. Oh, and if it's frozen, don't forget to thaw your turkey in time for the feast.

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