There are a lot of factors going into cooking that go beyond the prepping and cooking phases. While it might seem like a hassle, you do need to keep food safety in mind.
If you eat say food that isn’t cooked thoroughly, then you could become ill. A great way to check the temperature of food is to use a meat thermometer.
One food people might check the temperature of is turkey. In this article, you’ll find out how to properly probe a turkey, what a turkey’s internal temperature should be, and finally, what happens if you eat an undercooked turkey.
By the end of the article, you’ll know exactly how to check the temperature of the turkey.
What Should a Turkey’s Internal Temperature Be?
Every meat has a specific temperature it needs to reach, and turkey is no different. Turkey falls under the category of white meat.
For something to be considered white meat then, it needs to be considered poultry like chicken, duck, etc.
The other common type of meat is red meat, but red meat is from a four-legged animal with red meat in its raw form, so the turkey doesn’t fall under the red meat category.
This white meat needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe enough to eat. So, if your meat thermometer reads this, you are good to move forward with eating your delicious turkey.
Even though you know the temperature it should reach, we still want to touch on what will happen if you do end up eating undercooked turkey.
The reason for this is that mistakes can happen, despite our best attempts to avoid them. So, continue to the next session so you can be prepared and know exactly what to do.
How Do You Probe a Turkey?
By probing a turkey, you will be able to tell what the internal temperature of the turkey is. You can do this by following these particular steps:
- The first thing you want to do is make sure that the probe or meat thermometer is placed correctly. This can be done by sticking it into the deepest part of the turkey. Don’t stick it around bone because if it’s bone, you’re not going to get an accurate read.
- Insert the probe into the breast of the turkey. You need to stick the probe pretty deep in there to get the best temperature read on your turkey, so don’t be afraid to push it in far enough.
- Like we said, the internal temperature of a turkey needs to be 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. As long as it reads this number on the thermometer, then you are safe to start preparing your turkey however you like it and cooking it.
- Keep in mind that you want to have a probe that is oven safe. It also doesn’t hurt to have an instant-read thermometer on hand, which will tell you the final temperature of the turkey.
It’s as simple as this to be able to probe your turkey and get a proper temperature.
Turkey is one of those foods that people usually tend to cook at Thanksgiving, but it still doesn’t hurt to learn how to probe it ahead of the holiday.
Thanksgiving is a very stressful time for everyone, but especially for the one who is cooking the food. It takes a few hours to do it, so you’ll want all the help you can get.
Meat thermometers are very easy to get ahold of, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one at a store near you or online.
What Happens if You Eat Undercooked Turkey?
If you end up eating undercooked turkey for whatever reason, then you will end up facing a lot of consequences. We’ve narrowed down the top three ones you can end up getting. Some of them are on the more serious side while others aren’t. They include:
- Campylobacter is a common bacteria that lurks inside turkeys. If you get sick with this then you’ll end up with diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting/nausea, and fever. Most of the time it isn’t fatal, but this can change if the person has a compromised immune system.
- Another bacteria that can come about if you eat undercooked turkey is salmonella. Some common symptoms include getting diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, cramps, and headache. Most of the time, this goes away on its own, so you don’t have to worry about it being fatal. However, if symptoms don’t go away, it’s recommended you do seek outside assistance.
- Finally, clostridium is a bacteria that often causes food poisoning. Food poisoning isn’t profoundly serious, other than it’s going to cause you to be stuck in your house for a few days. If it does last longer than a few days, then you’ll want to seek medical attention. Most symptoms occur a few hours after eating the contaminated food and involve gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, etc.
Here are the biggest risks of eating undercooked turkey. The best way you can avoid this is by cooking it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees parchment. If you don’t, then you’ll end up getting one of these three illnesses.
Why wouldn’t you do something so simple to avoid one of these very unpleasant and potentially serious illnesses?
And there you go, all you turkey lovers out there! Probing a turkey with a meat thermometer or similar tool may seem difficult at first because you have to get it in a particular way. However, once you get used to it, you’ll be an expert in doing it in no time.
Besides that, we also went into the recommended temperature of turkey and what can happen if you end up eating raw turkey.
We don’t mention this to scare you, but just to keep you informed because, despite our best efforts, things can go wrong.
So, if you don’t have a meat thermometer, it’s time to consider purchasing one.
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I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.