Traditional recipes

Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Your Pop-Up Turkey Timer

Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Your Pop-Up Turkey Timer

Don’t overcook your bird this holiday

Paul Brian Kiser/Shutterstock

Are those pop-up timers in your turkey accurate?

No holiday is defined by its meal quite like Thanksgiving. And the most important part of Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect turkey recipe, of course. It’s something that cooks around the country rely on. But should you?

Common Turkey Carving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We’re sorry to say, but the answer is no. These pop-up timers are actually really inaccurate. There’s a reason that turkey has a reputation for being dry, and it’s because of these timers. If they ever pop at all, it can be too late. Or even worse, they could rise too early and your turkey could be underdone, putting you and your guests at the risk of food poisoning.

So how do you know when your turkey is done? Carol Miller, a Butterball turkey talk-line expert, answered all our turkey questions, and she revealed there is truly only one way to ensure your bird is properly cooked. You need to check the internal temperature.

“You can’t tell if a turkey is done just by looking at its color. And some people just cook by the time. They look and it says three to three and a half hours, so they cook it for three and a half hours and take it out of the oven,” Miller said. “But you really need to cook by temperature. Early in the season when we get someone on the phone or via email, we remind them to get that meat thermometer out, buy one if you don’t have one, and make sure it’s calibrated.”

Indeed, a properly calibrated meat thermometer is the only way to make sure your turkey is cooked to perfection. Your turkey needs to be 165 degrees F at the innermost part of the thigh and in the thickest part of the breast. And if you didn’t know that you can’t rely on your turkey’s pop-up timer, you may need to know what other turkey buying, roasting and carving mistakes you’re making.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Do Pop-Up Turkey Timers Actually Work?

This Thanksgiving, there’s one tool you need to keep out of the kitchen in order to cook the perfect turkey. Ironically, it’s the pop-up turkey timer.

A pop-up turkey timer ― the kind that comes pre-inserted in your store-bought bird ― is probably one of the most unreliable kitchen gadgets of all time. By the time the timer does actually pop, your turkey will be overcooked and as dry as sawdust.

That’s because commercial turkey buttons are set to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, even though you should actually remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 160 degrees F (then you temperature will continue rising as it rests on the counter, to the FDA-recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit). If you use a pop-up timer, you end up drastically overcooking your turkey.

Food industry professionals don’t like pop-up timers.

If you need any more proof that pop-up timers are bad, just know that Butterball turkey doesn’t use them, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend them and food writers despise them.

“If I had my way, the world would be rid of it,” J. Kenji López-Alt, James Beard-nominated columnist and chief culinary consultant of Serious Eats, said of pop-up timers in an interview with The Washington Post in 2015.

Here’s how turkey timers actually work.

Inside a standard pop-up turkey timer, there’s a red plastic indicator stick that sits in a plastic casing. The stick has a spring wrapped around it. The soft metal in the tip warms as the turkey roasts and eventually melts at around 180 degrees F. Then the red stick is released from the metal and the spring makes it pop up.

There are only two pop-up timers that we’d recommend.

If you must use a turkey timer, there are two pop-up versions that actually work: the Kikkerland turkey timer and a Norpro reusable pop up turkey poultry timer. The reason these pop-up timers are better is because they’re set to pop between 160 and 165 degrees F. The result? A turkey that’s actually edible! Purchase Kikkerland’s on Amazon for $14.95 or Norpro’s on Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99.


Watch the video: Should I Stuff My Turkey? Plus: Do Pop-Up Timers Work? (October 2021).