What To Do If Turkey Is Cooking Too Fast

What To Do If Turkey Is Cooking Too Fast: Answered

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Shari Mason

If you find that your Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey is cooking too quickly while preparing it, there is no need to worry. It is not a disaster, and there are specific techniques you can use to slow down the cooking process.

We will explore some of the best ways to ensure your turkey is cooked perfectly without overcooking or drying it out. 

We’ll also look at how to tell if it is done, tips for avoiding this situation in the future, and more. So read on to learn what to do if your turkey is cooking too fast.

Complete Guide On What To Do If Turkey Is Cooking Too Fast

roasted turkey on a wooden board
  1. Reduce the heat: If your turkey is cooking too fast, reduce the heat to lower the cooking temperature. 
  2. Cover the turkey: Cover the turkey with aluminum foil or a lid to trap the heat and slow the cooking process. 
  3. Move the turkey to a cooler part of the oven: If the turkey is cooking too fast, move it to a cooler part. 
  4. Increase the cooking time: If the turkey is cooking too quickly, increase the cooking time by 30 minutes to an hour. 
  5. Monitor the temperature: Use a meat thermometer to monitor the turkey’s temperature and ensure it’s cooked through. 
  6. Add a pan of water: Add a pan of water to the oven to help keep the oven moist and slow down the cooking process.


How To Cook Turkey

Cooking a turkey [1] requires some preparation, but it is not overly complicated. Start by making sure your turkey is completely thawed. If it is frozen, it will need to be thawed in the refrigerator for several days. 

Once it is thawed, rub the turkey with butter or oil and season it with salt and pepper. Place the turkey in a roasting pan with a rack and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Before putting the turkey in the oven, it is important to stuff it with a stuffing of your choice. Once the stuffing is inside, tie the legs together with kitchen twine. 

“If you want to soar like an eagle in life, you can’t be flocking with the turkeys.”

Warren Buffett, Philanthropist

Add some liquid, such as broth or white wine, to the bottom of the pan to help keep the turkey moist while it cooks.

Place the turkey in the oven and cook it for about 2-3 hours until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. 

When the turkey is done, let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Read: How Long Does Sliced Turkey Last In The Fridge?

Why Is Your Turkey Taking So Long To Cook?

Depending on the size of the bird, it can take several hours to cook a turkey completely. If the turkey is stuffed, it can take even longer to cook. 

Additionally, the oven temperature might not be hot enough, or the turkey may be too close to the heating element. The turkey may be covered with foil, reducing the cooking rate. 

To ensure that the turkey is cooked thoroughly, it is important to check the internal temperature of the turkey to ensure that it has reached the necessary temperature.

Read: Why Is My Deep Fried Turkey Turning Black?

How To Know If Turkey Is Done

One way is to check the internal temperature of the turkey. You can insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and breast.

The internal temperature should be at least 165°F for the turkey to be safe to eat. 

Another way to test for doneness is to wiggle the drumstick. If it moves easily, the turkey is most likely done. 

Lastly, you can also check the juices that run out of the turkey when piercing the thigh. If the juices are clear and not pink, the turkey is done.

How To Fix Undercooked Turkey

Slicing Undercooked Turkey

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to fix an undercooked turkey. Then, remove the bird from the roasting pan and carve off as much cooked meat as possible. 

Place the uncooked turkey parts in a baking dish and pour a few tablespoons of chicken broth over it. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. 

After 25 minutes, check the turkey’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer. If the temperature has not reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, continue to bake for 10-15 minutes. 

Once the turkey is fully cooked, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Tips On How To Make The Perfect Turkey

  • Start with a fresh turkey: It’s important to start with a fresh turkey when making the perfect turkey. If you can’t find a fresh turkey, choose a frozen turkey that has been thawed. 
  • Brine the turkey: Brining adds flavor and helps the turkey stay moist. You can combine your turkey with water, salt, and seasonings. 
  • Rub the turkey with olive oil: Before roasting, rub the turkey with olive oil. This will help the skin brown and crisp. 
  • Roast the turkey: Place the turkey in a roasting pan and roast at 325°F for about 20 minutes per pound. To ensure even cooking, rotate the pan every 45 minutes. 
  • Tent the turkey with foil: After it has cooked for 2 hours, tent it with foil to prevent the skin from burning. 
  • Check the internal temperature: Use a thermometer to check the turkey’s internal temperature. The turkey is done when it reaches 165°F. 
  • Let the turkey rest: After the turkey is done cooking, let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. This will help the juices settle and make carving easier. 
  • Carve and serve: After the turkey has rested, carve it into slices and serve.


u003cstrongu003eCan you recook undercooked turkey?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, you can recook an undercooked turkey. The safest way to do this is to cut the turkey into smaller pieces, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until a food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey reads 165°F.

u003cstrongu003eIf the turkey is chewy, is it undercooked?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, if the turkey is chewy, it is likely undercooked.

u003cstrongu003eCan you stop and restart cooking a turkey?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, you can stop and restart cooking a turkey. You can either turn the oven off and let the turkey cool down before restarting it or remove the turkey from the oven and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to continue cooking.

Key Takeaways

If your turkey is cooking too fast, you can take certain steps to slow down the cooking process. 

Lower the oven temperature, place a loose tent of aluminum foil over the turkey, or increase the cooking time. 

However, it is important to note that if the turkey is cooked at a temperature lower than 165°F, it could lead to food-borne illnesses [2]. 

Therefore, ensuring that the turkey is cooked thoroughly before serving is essential.


Shari Mason

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