Pink near leg joint - is the turkey done?

The past few times I have roasted a turkey, despite lots of thermometer pokes saying it is well beyond done after plenty of time in oven, there is pink right around the leg joint when we cut. I've read that it may happen when the bird is young and that it is safe to eat but it is a bit unnerving, especially with the liquid a bit pink. Tips on what to do?

  • Posted by: Amy
  • November 25, 2015


Susan W. November 25, 2015
Jeffrey Zacharian was just speaking about this. He actually cooks his birds to 150-155 and expects a small pink tinge at the leg joints. I have taken my turkey out a little too early to avoid an overdone breast. I removed the legs and placed them joint down in a pan and cooked the pink away. It took no time at all.
Kristen M. November 25, 2015
Yes, a little pink is fine (happens with turkey and chicken both)—you'll just want to make sure that the thigh meat looks firm and cooked, not soft or raw still. Here's how you can check the accuracy of your thermometer, but a new backup thermometer couldn't hurt, if you want extra peace of mind—I often use 2 to corroborate evidence!
Cav November 25, 2015
What you've read about young birds is sadly true. They're rushed to market before they've had a chance to develop flavour, their bones to properly form or have anything resembling a life. I'd trust the thermometer, but if there are squeamish people around you could over cook the bird, or seperate out the pink bits and add them to the stock pot.
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