Is it safer to cook stuffing separately?
We recommend preparing stuffing separately.
What color should the skin be?
Skin color of raw turkey ranges from off-white to cream-colored. Under the skin,
color can vary from pink to lavender-blue, depending on the amount of subcutaneous
fat. When testing doneness of cooked turkey, rubbery pink meat and pink juices are
a sign that the turkey needs more cooking time. If the turkey has reached an internal
temperature of 180° F at the thickest part of the thigh, the juices have no pink
color and the meat is tender but has a pink color, it should be safe to eat. The
pink color in safely cooked turkey is due to the hemoglobin in its tissues, which
can form a heat-stable color. This can occur with smoked, grilled or oven-cooked
turkey. See the next question for more information.
Is it safe to eat turkey meat that's pink?
The color of cooked meat and poultry isn't always a good indicator of doneness.
Using a meat thermometer is the only accurate way to determine that meat has reached
a safe temperature. Turkey, fresh pork, ground beef or veal can remain pink even
after cooking to temperatures of 160° F and higher. Smoked turkey meat is always
Can a turkey be roasted overnight at a low temperature?
For food-safety reasons, the turkey industry doesn't recommend roasting a turkey
at a temperature lower then 325° F, where harmful bacteria thrive.
Can I partially roast my whole turkey the day before and complete the roasting just
before the meal?
For food-safety reasons, The National Turkey Federation does not recommend partially
roasting a whole turkey. Partially cooked meat and stuffing are ideal mediums for
How can I tell if meat is grilled thoroughly?
Meat and poultry cooked on the grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use
a meat thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature.
Whole poultry should reach 180° F; breasts, 170° F. Never partially grill meat or
poultry and finish cooking later. Cook food completely to destroy harmful bacteria.