Microwaving Turkey

One of the most convenient methods for cooking small turkey pieces is with the use of a microwave oven. Although the flavor and tenderness of the turkey may not be as good as with other cooking methods, the overall results can be very satisfying if the turkey is microwaved properly. It is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions because of the differences in various models of microwave ovens. The size and wattage of the microwave makes a difference in the cooking time.

Note: NEVER use a microwave oven to cook or thaw a whole turkey. Using a microwave to cook large turkey pieces (half breast, full leg, drumstick, thigh, or full wing) is not recommended. Use only small turkey pieces, such as boneless breast tenderloins, drummettes, middle wings, and wing tips for cooking in a microwave.

The turkey pieces should be placed in a microwave safe container and covered loosely during cooking to help hold in moisture and speed the cooking process. A few holes should be made in the film or paper or a corner of the container can be left uncovered for venting purposes.

Depending on the size of the turkey pieces, a medium to high setting should be used to cook the turkey. In most cases, the thicker the piece of turkey, the lower the setting should be in order to avoid the problem of overcooking the surface of the meat before the interior of the meat has cooked thoroughly. Removing the bones from the turkey will also help the meat to cook much more quickly and evenly.

Turkey pieces should be turned over and moved into different areas of the oven occasionally during the cooking process. A microwave oven equipped with a carousel-cooking base reduces some of the turning and movement of the pieces that may be required.

Always use meat thermometer to check the turkey for proper doneness. The interior portion of the meat should reach 180ºF.

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