Undercooked or Unevenly Cooked Turkey
The guests are gathered, ready for the holiday meal, and you slice the pretty browned bird only to find that the turkey is done in some parts but woefully under cooked in places. This is NOT the way to start off your meal but it doesn’t have to happen.
- An evenly cooked turkey starts with proper thawing. Otherwise, the still frozen parts will be raw or rare when the rest of the turkey is finished. Allow plenty of time to thaw your turkey in the fridge – the FDA recommends about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds.
- Cook by internal temperature, not times or appearance. Looks can be deceiving and time/temp recommendations are rough guidelines. Use an instant read digital thermometer to verify that your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees in the breast meat and at least 175 degrees in the thigh meat.
- In my opinion, the absolute best way to evenly cook a turkey is to “spatchcock” it, meaning to cut out the back bone and flatten it out. Take a sharp pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife and cut along each side of the spine. Remove it, flip the turkey over, and then press down firmly on the breast bone, flattening it out.