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Some whole turkeys are sold with a pop-up timer that indicates when the turkey is fully cooked. The pop-up timer, also known as a turkey timer, is inserted into the flesh of the turkey during processing. The timer consists of a heat sensitive probe that houses a pop-up extension. As the name suggests, the extension pops upward when the turkey is fully cooked. Although a pop-up timer is fairly accurate in determining doneness, it is still recommended that a meat thermometer be used to ensure that the interior portions of the turkey have reached the necessary temperature for safe consumption. An accurate meat thermometer is the most reliable tool for determining proper doneness.
Some brands of whole turkeys found in retail stores may include pop-up timers and other brands may not. Most often, the grocer determines the types of turkeys that are sold in their stores. Specifications regarding weight, pop-up timers, and enclosed gravy packets are among the criteria considered by grocers according to the buying patterns of the majority of their customers. It is best to speak to the meat manager of your local food store if you have a preference for a type of turkey (such as a turkey with a pop-up timer), which may not be carried in your store or in your area. The meat manager may be able to order a specific type of turkey for you.
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