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Turkey Thermometer Guide

The holidays are coming. If you are in the market for a Turkey thermometer here is what you need to know to make the right decision about your purchase. We recommend a pull temperature of 157°F (69°C) in the breast and 175°F (79°C) in the thigh.

 

Good Better Best

Here’s what’s NOT good:no thermometer at all, or an old dial thermometer
Good:an accurate digital instant-read thermometer
Better:both an instant-read and an alarm thermometer
Best:a Thermapen (classic or Mk4) and a ChefAlarm    
Top of the line would be:a Thermapen Mk4 and Smoke 2-channel alarm

Two Thermometers Instead of One?

The reason you need both an instant-read and an alarm thermometer (sometimes called a leave-in probe thermometer) is that whole turkeys are large and usually take some time to cook.

  • The alarm thermometer has a “leave-in probe” that goes into the turkey before you cook it. You set the alarm thermometer to your desired temperature (we recommend 157°F).
  • When the alarm sounds, you use the accurate instant-read thermometer to check the turkey in multiple places, verifying that the turkey is truly done. The multiple-channel alarm allows you track the temperature of both the white meat and the dark meat while they cook. You actually want those at different doneness temperatures.

ThermoWorks sells several different models of both instant-read and alarm thermometers. They are all excellent. The differences in price mostly represent differences in speed, accuracy, and durability.


Instant Read Thermometers

Pull the probe tip through the turkey in multiple spots to verify that the lowest temperature displayed is above your target doneness temperature.

Thermapen® Mk4

Recommended. Top-rated by Cook's Illustrated magazine. Accurate to ±0.7°F in 2-3 seconds. Fully waterproof. Auto-rotating display. Auto-backlight. 10 colors. NIST-traceable.

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Classic Super-Fast® Thermapen®

Super-Fast 2-3 second readings. Accurate to ±0.7°F. Fold-away thermocouple. Splash-proof. 6 colors.

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ThermoPop®

Super-Fast, first-ever rotating display. Splash-proof with large digits. top rated by Cook's Illustrated magazine.

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Alarm Thermometers

Place the oven-proof probe tip in the center of the turkey breast to track temperature charges over time. The alarm sounds when ready to verify with an instant-read thermometer.

ChefAlarm®

Recommended. Leave-in probe tracks roasts, turkeys, sous vide and more. Uses Pro-Series commercial-grade probes that last longer. High and low alarms. 9 colors.

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DOT®

Ultra-simple probe-style oven alarm. Uses Pro-Series commercial-grade probes that last longer. High temperature alarm. Beats houseware brands for ease of use and survivability. Every kitchen should have a DOT. 9 colors.

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Smoke

Professional, 2-Channel wireless alarm thermometer. Includes Pro-Series meat and air probes and wireless receiver. High and low alarms. 9 colors.

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ThermaQ Kit

Professional BBQ tool, high and low alarms on both channels, splashproof, uses K thermocouples, a grillmaster favorite.Includes meat probe and air probe with grate clip.

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Read more about how to properly cook a turkey. Most people have never tasted properly cooked turkey. It is amazingly delicious.



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