Microwaving a Turkey

Turkeys can be successfully cooked in a microwave oven—whole or in parts. Turkey parts can be cooked in a dish with a lid, or cover the dish with plastic wrap and vent the top. Timing can vary because of wattage differences, so follow the recommendations in the owner's manual. A 12- to 14- pound turkey is the maximum size most microwaves can accommodate. Microwaves sometimes cook a whole turkey unevenly, so microwaving it in an oven cooking bag aids in even heat distribution. Microwaving a stuffed turkey is not recommended. The stuffing may not be cooked to the proper internal temperature when the turkey itself is done. Cook the stuffing in a separate casserole.

Allow 3 inches oven clearance on top and 2 to 3 inches of space around the bird. The time for cooking a turkey in the microwave is 9 to 10 minutes per pound on medium (50%) power. Rotate the bird during cooking to ensure even cooking.

If the bird is defrosted in the microwave, cook it immediately. Always use a food thermometer to determine doneness. The turkey is safely cooked when the food thermometer reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. After removing from the microwave, let the turkey stand 20 minutes before carving it.

Microwave Food Safety Tips

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