This post may contain affiliate links. Since young birds also tend to have thinner skin, with less fat, the gases from the oven are able to penetrate further into the meat, where they react chemically with the myoglobin. The major reason that poultry meat is much lighter in color than beef is that it is dramatically lower in myoglobin. 2. Usually commercially-smoked turkeys get their pink color from the natural smoke and liquid smoke flavor that’s added to the meat. FACT: … Smoked turkey meat always has a pink tinge to it. Is Pink Turkey Meat Safe Chemical Changes During Cooking. Copyright © My Frugal Home™ All Rights Reserved. Did you mess up somewhere along the way? Turkey can remain pink even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Here are step-by-step instructions to take you through the carving process. You smoked or grilled your turkey. young) turkey, it’s likely caused by hemoglobin leaching into the meat around the bone. ", "I cooked my turkey until done according to the directions, but when I sliced the breast meat, it was still pink near the bone," said an Oklahoma caller. Since it got a good temperature reading, it’s completely safe to eat. Join us over on the forum to discuss money-saving ideas and participate in monthly challenges. It’s common for the outer half-inch of a smoked or grilled turkey to look pink, and not unusual for the meat of a smoked turkey to be pink all the way through. By Thursday or Friday, however, the lunch meat often begins to look a little suspicious, and you’re left wondering if those last slices are safe to eat. Turkeys do a lot of standing around, but little if any flying, so their wing and breast muscles are white; their legs, dark. Fully-cooked turkey meat can be pink for several reasons. "Ground poultry is the most difficult to see (if it's fresh) visually. The good news is that pink turkey meat isn’t necessarily a sign that your bird is under-cooked. Meat that’s been grilled outdoors often does, too. It could go bad before it even browns, so that's why you need to eat it immediately," said Peisker. To understand some of the causes of "pinking" or "pinkening" in fresh turkey, it's important to know first what gives meat its natural color. Scientists have found that pinkness occurs when gases in the atmosphere of a heated gas... Natural Presence of Nitrites. Pick up a pound of turkey and some sliced cheddar, and you’re halfway to a week of easy sandwiches for the family. We collect your name, email and IP address, when you post a comment for the purpose of responding to comments and preventing spam. The color pink in cooked turkey meat raises a "red flag" to many diners and cooks. Take a tour of my frugal home, and find new tips to put to work in your frugal home. Sometimes the gases that form in the oven while a turkey is cooking react chemically with the myoglobin in the meat to form that tell-tale pink color. You should cool your turkey to room temperature for a while before putting it in the fridge. When you cook your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter turkey, you want to be sure it is properly cooked and safe to eat. Since … "We had a big family argument at Thanksgiving dinner. As with hamburger patties, the color of cooked poultry is not a sure sign of doneness. Smoked turkey meat always has a pink tinge to it. This turkey is fully cooked, but the drumstick and thigh meat are pink around the joint. Conditioned to be wary of cooked fresh pork that looks pink, they question the safety of cooked poultry and other meats that have a rosy blush. Why Are White & Dark Meat of Poultry Different Colors? To some extent, oxygen use can be related to the bird's general level of activity: muscles that are exercised frequently and strenuously — such as the legs — need more oxygen, and they have a greater storage capacity than muscles needing little oxygen. Only by using a food thermometer can one accurately determine that poultry has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product. Sometimes, when you slice into a turkey, the meat will appear pink. Turkeys today are young — 4 to 5 months old at the time of slaughter. Nitrites are commonly used to produce a desired pink color in traditionally cured meats... Young Age of Meat. The pink, red or white coloration of meat is due primarily to oxygen-storing myoglobin which is located in the muscle cells and retains the oxygen brought by the blood until the cells need it. To them, it means "unsafe" or "under-done. If you got a safe temperature reading off of your turkey, it’s time to get it carved and on the table. Nitrites or nitrates turned the meat pink. You spent all day roasting your turkey. Here are four common causes for pink turkey: This turkey was smoked, as a result, the meat is pink all the way through. View our Privacy Policy. While it might not be Pinterest-worthy, this bird is safe to eat. In fact, turkey, fresh pork, ground beef and veal can all remain pink even after cooking to temperatures of 160ºF and higher. But they also occur naturally in vegetables and water. Here are step-by-step instructions to take you through the carving process. By Erin Huffstetler | 10/09/2018 | No Comments. 1. This pink tint makes some people think that the meat is still slightly raw—a common complaint with Thanksgiving and Christmas birds. Your email address will not be published. Aunt Mildred wouldn't eat the turkey because it looked pink," reported the beleaguered cook from a Wisconsin family. Required fields are marked *, I agree. In fact, if you followed the cooking instructions carefully, it probably isn’t a sign of any problem at all. "Is it safe?". As long as the breast meat is reading a minimum of 165 degrees and the thighs are reading a minimum of 180 degrees, you can safely serve your turkey without worrying that you’ll make your family sick. The meat of smoked turkey is always pink. So, turkeys are exposed to both through their food. By far the most common, and to some people the most off-putting, is the pink discoloration that frequently occurs in poultry and pork that have been over cooked to temperatures above 80 °C / 175 °F or so. Since this is a small (i.e. 4. Why is Poultry Lighter in Color Than Beef? Numerous callers to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline report being alarmed when seeing "pink." If you purchased a smoked turkey from the grocery store, it’s probably pink for a different reason. Here are four common causes for pink turkey: This turkey was smoked, as a result, the meat is pink all the way through. So, what causes this? Yes, if it has been cooked to a temperature of 160ºF in the center. no, turkey is not safe if it's slightly pink don't eat it and if I were you I would take it back to the deli Heat usually denatures the myoglobin, turning it brown, but with the lower, slower heat of smoking, the pink color often remains. Young turkeys have porous bones, which makes it easier for hemoglobin to leach into the meat. The protein myoglobin is the major pigment found in all vertebrates and can exist in various forms which determine the resulting meat color. The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety. If enough nitrites and nitrates are present, it can give the meat a pink tinge. Now, you’ve carved into it, and the meat is pink. To determine if your turkey is done, just use a a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. This causes the meat to look pink close to the bone. Myoglobin, a protein found in muscle, is the source of the pink color. Nitrites and nitrates are often added to cured meats, like bacon and ham, to make them pink. Since it got a good temperature reading, it’s completely safe to eat. Also, as an animal becomes older, its myoglobin content usually increases. This also contributes to the pink color. A chemical reaction took place while your turkey was cooking. View our disclosure. Is turkey that looks pink safe to eat? Your email address will not be published. *. Does it need to go back in the oven? Is it safe to serve to your guests? We do not use this data for any other purpose.

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