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Does Turkey Need to Rest After Cooking?

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Lauren Beck

Have you ever wondered if turkey needs to rest after cooking? The answer is yes, turkey does need to rest after cooking. By allowing the bird to rest, the juices have time to redistribute themselves evenly throughout the meat, making for a juicier, more flavorful final product. So when you’re planning your holiday meal, make sure to factor in some resting time for your turkey!

How Long Do You Let a Turkey Rest After Cooking?

The general rule of thumb is to let your turkey rest for about 20 minutes after cooking. This should give the juices plenty of time to redistribute themselves, resulting in a more evenly cooked, juicier bird.

There are a few things to keep in mind when letting your turkey rest. First, make sure the turkey is properly cooked before you let it rest. A good way to check is by using a meat thermometer; the internal temperature of the turkey should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Secondly, keep your turkey covered while it rests so that it stays warm. And finally, don’t forget to factor in the resting time when you’re planning your meal! Otherwise, your dinner guests may be waiting around for a while.

How Long Is It Safe for Turkey to Rest at Room Temperature?

The USDA recommends that cooked turkey be kept at an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above. If your turkey is resting at room temperature, it should only be for a brief period of time; no more than 2 hours.

Why You Shouldn’t Neglect the Resting Period?

If you don’t allow your turkey to rest after cooking, you run the risk of serving a dry, overcooked bird. By letting the turkey rest, you give the juices time to redistribute themselves evenly throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier, more flavorful final product. So don’t neglect the resting period – your dinner guests will thank you for it!

Can You Rest A Turkey For Too Long?

roasted turkey on aluminum foil

Yes, you can rest a turkey for too long. But if you let the turkey rest for more than 2 hours, it may begin to cool down too much and become dry. So make sure to factor in the resting time when you’re planning your meal!

How Long To Rest Smoked Turkey?

Smoked turkey does not need to rest as long as roasted turkey. You can let smoked turkey rest for about 10 minutes after cooking. This will allow the juices to redistribute themselves, resulting in a juicier, more flavorful final product.

Can I Rest The Turkey Breast Side Down?

Yes, you can rest the turkey breast side down. This will help keep the juices in the breast meat from running out.

What is A Two-Hour Time Limit?

The two-hour time limit is the maximum amount of time that cooked turkey should be kept at an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above. After 2 hours, the turkey may begin to cool down too much and become dry.

Turkey is a delicious protein option for holiday meals, but it’s important to remember that the bird does need to rest after cooking. By allowing the turkey to rest, you give the juices time to redistribute themselves evenly throughout the meat. This results in a juicier, more flavorful final product. So don’t forget to factor in some resting time when you’re planning your holiday meal!

Should I Wrap The Turkey While it Rests?

It is not necessary to wrap the turkey while it rests. However, if you are concerned about the turkey cooling down too much, you can loosely cover it with foil or a kitchen towel. Just make sure not to tightly seal the turkey, as this will cause it to sweat and become soggy.

Tips to Know When Your Turkey Is Done

Here are a few tips to know when your turkey is done [1]:

  • The skin should be golden brown.
  • The juices should run clear when you insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh.
  • The internal temperature of the turkey should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you are using a pop-up timer, it should have popped up to indicate that the turkey is done.
  • If you are using a meat thermometer, it should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

Conclusion

Turkey is a delicious protein option for holiday meals. But it’s important to remember that the bird does need to rest after cooking in order to be juicy and flavorful. So don’t forget to factor in some resting time when you’re planning your holiday meal!

Reference:

  1. https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/how-to-take-turkeys-temperature-without-thermometer
Lauren Beck
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