Meat Cooking Temperatures: Poultry Temperature

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When learning to cook, or even as a veteran cook, there is always room for learning. Furthering your knowledge will only make yourself a better cook but furthering your knowledge of proper cook temps of a variety of meats is extremely valuable. 

That's what we will cover with this blog series, the proper cooking temps of a variety meats at different doneness levels.

Want to learn the proper cooking temperature of other meats?

Click More Meat Cooking Temperatures

What is Poultry?

While a lot of people tend to stick to chicken when cooking birds, there is term that we commonly use in the cooking community that covers most types of bird meat you can cook. This term is poultry. Poultry covers chicken, quails, turkeys and ducks. All our ThermoPro Digital Thermometers contain a separate chicken setting, so our poultry setting will cover any other bird you’re looking to cook to perfection, such as turkey internal temperature. Below we’re not only going to provide the optimal and USDA standard temperature for poultry but also a few other tips to help you achieve the perfect cook.

Probe Placement in Poultry?

Getting the correct poultry temperature heavily depends on probe placement. Birds tend to have a large amount of cartilage and bones in their frames, so there are key areas where you want to place the probe for that perfect poultry temperature. Keep the probe in the thicker and more muscular parts of the bird if you want an accurate reading. The breast and the thigh are always the best body parts for a poultry temperature reading.

What is the perfect poultry temperature?

Unlike other meats, poultry only has one USDA temperature standard for cooking. This means that poultry is not recommended to be cooked at different temperatures for different tastes. According to the USDA, poultry should be cooked at a temperature of 165ºF/74ºC for a perfect cook. Anything more and will get a dryer bird, anything less and you risk your health by eating under cooked meat! So always ensure next Thanksgiving your turkey temp when done is 165ºF/74ºC for the most succulent meat possible. 

What can I do to change the taste of my poultry?

As stated above, poultry temperatures cannot safely be set at different levels for different doneness levels of your meat. So what makes poultry unique? Birds tend to have less fat deposits and more succulent meat on their bones than larger animals, this makes for an easy cook and minimal fat trimming. This paired with the endless amount of seasoning recipes you can follow, will lead to an exciting variety of tastes and smells when preparing a meal.

Conclusion

Poultry is not a meat that can be cooked in different temperature ranges for different tastes, but has many different attributes that add to a different texture and taste. A low fat and high animal like a bird leads to a relative easy cook and low trimming or preparation. Be careful when probing your poultry dish as some bones may distort an accurate reading. Remember, always take readings twice!

Instead of memorizing all these temps or checking back every time you cook, simply pick up a ThermoPro digital thermometer. Some models will have the settings programmed into their memory, while other models will have them written inside your owner's manual. 

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