Around this time of year, this is one of the most common questions I’m asked! For the most accurate reading, put the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh (not the drumstick).
How Do I Find the Thigh?
The thigh is under the drumstick. To insert the thermometer, you can go from above or below. If your thermometer probe is short, it will be easier to insert from below. If you’re inserting from above, be sure the probe is actually in the thigh and not a cavity, which would throw off your reading.
Make sure you are inserting the thermometer deep enough to get an accurate reading, almost to the bone. If you hit bone, pull the thermometer back about half an inch. Inserting to the bone to take the reading will give an inaccurate temperature – bone is a better conductor of heat than the meat around it. You should feel some resistance when you insert the thermometer, if there’s no resistance you may be hitting the pocket of space between the thigh and the breast.
What Should the Temperature of the Thigh be?
The thermometer should read between 170 and 175 degrees fahrenheit. You know that old saying “measure twice and cut once?” Make sure your reading was accurate by taking the temperature of the thigh on the other side of the turkey. If they match up, Congratulations! You just finished cooking a whole turkey. Let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before carving to let the juices redistribute so you won’t have a dry turkey.