Testing for Doneness

Appears in

Thanksgiving: Recipes for a Holiday Meal


By Lou Seibert Pappas

Published 2011

Checking the internal temperature of the breast and thigh is the best way to know when whole poultry is done, so using an accurate thermometer is crucial. A leave-in thermometer (top) stays in throughout the roasting time and allows you to check the temperature without opening the oven door. An instant-read thermometer (middle and bottom) is inserted near the end of roasting time. These thermometers are interchangeable; choose the one that best suits your needs. A minimum temperature of 160°F will destroy bacteria, but the breast and thigh have different temperatures for ideal doneness.