Turkey is a fantastic main course for so many occasions. Preparing a whole turkey for carving with the family on Thanksgiving Day or even cooking it ahead of time to meal prep. There are so many wonderful ways to use turkey.
However, it can be difficult for some people to tell when their turkey has been cooked to completion.
Undercooked turkey will taste relatively flavorless and be very chewy. It will have a slightly undesirable taste to it.
Using a thermometer is the best way to be sure that your turkey is done and safe to eat and serve. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t panic! There are still some tricks to tell if it’s cooked.
Eating undercooked turkey can result in food poisoning or other food-borne illnesses, so always make sure it’s cooked thoroughly before consuming it!
What does it taste like when undercooked?
Undercooked turkey is never safe to eat. It can lead to multiple health problems or even give you food poisoning. If you’re unsure if your turkey is completely cooked, try using a thermometer.
Undercooked turkey will have a very unpleasant taste. It might still be cold or lukewarm towards the middle. If your turkey has not completed cooking, it will most likely be chewy. Normally, an undercooked turkey will be flavorless and have an undesirable texture as well.
If your turkey doesn’t taste like it should use a thermometer to check the temperature. If it’s not done all the way through do not eat it!
What does it look like when undercooked?
Undercooked turkey will have a pink color to it. When a turkey is cooked, it should be a light white color on the inside. The outside should be a brown color.
It’s important to check the middle of the turkey and not just the outside to ensure it is thoroughly cooked. The outside of a turkey will brown first when cooking or baking, so always cut into the deepest part of your turkey to check if it’s completely cooked through.
How can you tell if it’s undercooked?
- With thermometer
If you’re not sure if your turkey is done, try using a meat thermometer. The best place to insert the thermometer is the thigh of the turkey.
Ideally, you want to insert it close to the thigh bone. Make sure it’s not touching the bone though, as this can affect the temperature reading and give you inaccurate results. The bones will be hotter than the meat, so you could end up believing the turkey Is done prematurely.
When the thermometer shows a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh and 170 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast, it is cooked thoroughly and can be eaten safely.
- Without thermometer
If you don’t have a meat thermometer on hand, there are still ways of checking to make sure your turkey is cooked completely.
- Check the weight
- The weight of a turkey can help determine how much time it will require to cook. There are multiple cook-time calculators online you can use to determine this.
- Check the juice
- If you pierce the thigh of your turkey, juices should start to run out of it. If your turkey is undercooked, the juices will appear red or pink in color. You would want to cook your turkey for a bit longer if this is the case. When your turkey is done, the juices should be clear.
Can you eat it when it’s undercooked?
Undercooked turkey should never be eaten. Eating raw or partially cooked turkey can mean that you’re ingesting harmful bacteria that live in the raw turkey.
These bacteria can cause a number of potentially harmful effects on your health. Just like raw chicken, eating raw turkey can lead to a bacterial disease called salmonella. Salmonella can cause diarrhea, nausea, fever, chills, and stomach cramps.
You can also get salmonella by touching raw turkey and contaminating other items and surfaces in your kitchen, so be mindful when preparing the turkey.
How do you know if you have food poisoning from eating it undercooked?
Food poisoning is a very unpleasant foodborne illness. You can get it by eating spoiled or contaminated foods.
While it is a quite common illness, it can be very unpleasant. Some symptoms of food poisoning are
Always make sure your turkey is cooked thoroughly to avoid getting food poisoning.
How do you fix an undercooked turkey?
If your turkey is still undercooked, you can simply pop It back in the oven until the temperature is correct. If you’re in a time crunch, however, there is a way to cook it a little bit faster.
Carve off the thighs and breast separately. By separating the turkey into pieces, this will help it cook even faster. You can put these pieces onto a baking sheet and stick them back into the oven.
Check it often to avoid burning and use your thermometer to ensure it is cooked all the way through before serving.
Now that you know what undercooked turkey tastes like and what it looks like, you’re on your way to preparing a delicious turkey dinner. By ensuring that your turkey is cooked completely through, you’re going to avoid any nasty illnesses or food poisoning.
If you do undercook your turkey, don’t worry. There’s a fix for you and you can still save Thanksgiving dinner or any other meals you’re making.
Make sure you cook your turkey thoroughly before you eat or serve it. Most importantly, enjoy!