Viral tweets remind us not to ask our parents how to microwave a turkey

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There are a lot of different ways to cook a turkey. If you’ve never done it yourself, it can be intimidating to know where to start. One way that you definitely should not pursue is putting the bird in the microwave and trying to nuke it to completion. The only way to make that idea even worse is to ask your parents about it. But that’s what a bunch of Twitter users decided to do.

The #turkeychallenge started trending on Twitter in the leadup to Thanksgiving, and people started harassing their parents about cooking a turkey in the microwave just to see what they’d say. The reactions, as you might imagine, were pretty hilarious. They ranged from parents who were completely terrified by the prospect of their child trying to put a 25-pound bird inside a microwave to those who laughed off the suggestion and tried to point their kids on the right path.

It’s worth noting — though almost definitely not worth trying — that it is actually possible to cook a whole turkey in the microwave. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said as much. In a post on its website highlight alternative ways to cook a turkey, the USDA lists microwaving as a possibility. “Turkeys can be successfully cooked in a microwave oven — whole or in parts,” the agency wrote.

According to the USDA, if you decide to go this route, you won’t want to go any larger than a 12- to 14-pound turkey. Also, don’t cook a stuffed turkey in the microwave, as the stuffing likely won’t properly cook. You’re going to want to put the turkey in a dish with a lid to cook it. Alternatively, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap and create a vent at the top of the wrapping.

Timing the cooking process is the real challenge with using the microwave, seeing as the wattage is different depending on the model of microwave you’re using. Most microwaves also cook things unevenly, so you’re going to want to watch out for hot and cold spots in your bird. Using an oven cooking bag in the microwave can help evenly distribute heat. Cook in the microwave for nine to 10 minutes per pound on medium power. Make sure the bird has a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating it. Check the innermost thigh, wing, and thickest part of the breast.

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