Poultry Basics: Testing For Doneness

Use the following charts as guide to cooking. Then use the testing methods to make certain your chicken is well-done. Oven temperatures vary and these are approximate cooking times. Watch carefully the last hour, and test for doneness every 15 minutes.

Type of PoultryWeightRoasting (350)StewingGrilling
whole broiler fryer3 to 4 lbs*1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs60 to 75 min60 to 75 minutes
whole roaster4 to 5 lbs*1 1/2 to 2 hrs1 3/4 to 2 hrs18 to 25 min/lb•
whole pullet5 to 7 lbs*2 to 2 1/4 hrs1 3/4 to 2 hrs18 to 25 min/lb•
whole capon8 to 11 lbs*2 to 3 hrsnot suitable15 to 20 min/lb•
whole cornish hens18 to 24 oz*50 to 60 min35 to 40 min45 to 55 min•
whole duck4 to 6 lbs*2 1/2 to 3 hrsnot suitable
breast half, bone-in6 to 8 oz30 to 40 min35 to 45 min10 to 15 min/side
breast half, boneless4 oz20 to 30 min25 to 30 min6 to 8 min/side
leg or thigh8 or 4 oz40 to 50 min40 to 50 min10 to 15 min/side
drumstick4 oz35 to 45 min40 to 50 min8 to 12 min/side
wing or wingette/drumette2 to 3 oz30 to 40 min35 to 45 min8 to 12 min/side

*Unstuffed. If stuffed, add 15 to 30 minutes additional cooking time.
Indirect method, using a drip pan.
Source: USDA

Turkey Basics:

Place turkey in sink. Rinse with water. Remove giblets and neck. Season cavity with salt, pepper, and other seasonings. Place bird in oven in open pan, breast side up and set temperature to 325 to 350 degrees. Remember oven temperatures vary and these are approximate cooking times. Watch turkey carefully the last hour, and test for doneness every 15 minutes.

Do Not Over Cook! No basting Is Needed For Our Fresh Turkeys.

Unstuffed Birds – Cooking Temperature at 350 Degrees

6 – 8 lbs2 hrs
8 – 10 lbs 2 to 2 1/2 hrs
10 – 12 lbs2 1/2 to 3 hrs
12 – 14 lbs3 to 3 1/2 hrs
14 – 18 lbs3 1/4 to 3 1/2 hrs
18 – 22 lbs3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hrs
22 – 25 lbs3 1/2 to 4 hrs
Over 25 lbs3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hrs

Internal temperature should read 108 degrees when inserting a meat thermometer into the tickets part of the thigh, without touching the bone.

For Stuffed Turkey add approximately on hour to cook time. Stuffing should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Turkey Breast – Cooking Temperature 325 – 350 Degrees

4 – 5 lbs1 1/2 to 2 hrs
5 – 7 lbs1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hrs
7 – 9 lbs2 to 2 1/2 hrs
9 – 11 lbs2 1/4 to 3 hrs
Over 11 lbs3 to 4 hrs

Turkey Frying – Please refer to the instruction on your fryer.

Turkey Roll – Cooking Temperature 325-350 Degrees

3 – 5 lbs1 1/2 to 2 hrs
5 – 7 lbs2 to 3 hrs
7 – 9 lbs2 1/2 to 3 hrs
9 – 11 lbs3 to 4 hrs

Let turkey set for 20 to 40 minutes after removing from the oven. This allows the juices to settle and will make slicing much easier and meat will not string.

Goose Basics:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove giblets and neck. Remove excess fat from body cavity and neck. Rinse and drain. To stuff fill neck and cavity loosely. Place goose breast side up on a rack in shallow pan. If using a meat thermometer place deep into the thigh muscle. Roast uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour in 400 degree oven. During roasting spoon or siphon off accumulated fat every half hour. Reduce heat to 325 and continue roasting until thermometer registers 165 degrees. If not using a thermometer test for doneness by inserting a knife in the rear of the goose into the part where the thigh connects with the body. Twist the knife and if juice is brown or clear the goose is done. If the juice is pink or has a red tinge continue cooking.

Ready to Cook WeightTime at 400Plus Time at 325 Total Roasting Times
6 to 8 lbs45 mins.1 to 1 1/2 hrs1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hrs
8 to 10 lbs1 hour1 1/4 to 2 hrs2 1/4 to 3 hrs
10 to 12 lbs1 hour2 to 2 1/2 hrs3 to 3 1/2 hrs
12 to 14 lbs1 hour2 1/2 to 2 3/43 1/2 to 3 3/4

Let goose set for 20 minutes after removing from the oven. This allows the juices to settle and will make slicing much easier and meat will not string.

Using a Meat Thermometer

The most accurate way to test for doneness is to use a meat thermometer.

Whole chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165oF. To check, insert the tip of the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone.

Bone-in parts should be cooked to 170oF.

Boneless parts should be cooked to 160oF.

Stuffing should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165oF.

Other Tests for Doneness

Juices should run clear, not pink, when chicken is pierced with a fork.

Chicken is done when a fork can be inserted with ease, thus the term , “fork tender”

When cooking a whole bird, the leg should move freely when lifted or twisted.

When in doubt, remove chicken to a plate and cut with a knife to be sure the meat is opaque and no longer pink in the center or near the bone.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This