This is the Safe Internal Temperature for Turkey

Serving up a perfect holiday bird is as easy as knowing at what internal temperature the 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, 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 super-dry from too long a stay in the oven, or undercooked (and unsafe to eat). Follow our method, and you can feel certain you're cooking your turkey correctly. We'll provide the details for accurately reading the internal temperature, including in which part of the bird to check. Rest assured, you'll know when your roasted turkey is safe and ready to carve at the holiday table.

thermometer in turkey
Jason Donnelly

At What Temperature Is Turkey Done?

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

  • Whole turkey: On your meat thermometer, a whole cooked turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165°F 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

Checking the internal temperature in the right spot on the bird is essential for a safe meal. 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, as well, into the center of the inside thigh muscle, checking the temperature in several places.

Timing is important when roasting a turkey. Use our guide for how long to roast turkey so that the timing matches the size of your bird. Oh, and if it's frozen, don't forget to thaw your turkey in time to be roasted for the feast. If you're unsure where to start when it comes to choosing a turkey, use this in-depth guide to learn how to navigate all the grocery store labels with ease.

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