How to Cook a Small Turkey for a Low-Key Thanksgiving

If you ‘re cooking for one or two, or merely looking to spare yourself the attempt that goes into roasting a big turkey, consider cooking a little joker this year .

There are many advantages to cooking a smaller boo, and we ‘ll get into those later. Consider this your template to buy and cooking a modest turkey .

family celebrating thanksgiving
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Why a belittled Turkey ?

You may choose to cook a little turkey this class for a number of reasons. possibly you ‘re cooking for fewer people or possibly you plainly want to focus on the sides ( we all know they ‘re the best share ). No matter what your reason, cooking a little turkey for Thanksgiving does n’t have to be a deplorable affair. In fact a smaller turkey has quite a few advantages over the more traditional elephantine turkey .

small turkeys are easier to cook than large ones, plain and simpleton. For one, their size makes them easier to pull in and out of the oven for basting. But more importantly, it ‘s a lot easier to get damp, juicy kernel and perfectly golden-brown skin when you ‘re cooking a little turkey .

When it comes to roasting, joker is slightly of a blemished shuttlecock. It ‘s sheer size makes it unmanageable to cook all the means through without burning the skin or drying out the meat. That ‘s why a smaller turkey is all going to make your liveliness easier, and give you a better result in the end .

What Size Is Considered a “ modest ” Turkey ?

It ‘s authoritative to set realistic expectations when buying a little turkey — you ‘re not going to find one the size of a cornish plot hen or chicken. You ‘ll find that most “ modest turkey ” range in size from 10 to 14 pounds, although you may be able to find them a belittled as 6 pounds .

therefore how much turkey will you need for a little gather ? As a general rule, appraisal about 1 pound for serving, give or take a small. This means a 10-pound turkey will serve about 8-10 people .

If you want to go even smaller ( say if you ‘re cooking for one or two ), you can always consider a turkey summit rather. But we would argue that having some leftover turkey is never a bad thing .

If you prefer colored kernel, try this recipe for Herb-Roasted Turkey Thighs .

Where to Buy a Small Turkey

Shopping early is key if you want the best choice of smaller turkey. Try major supermarkets like Kroger, Trader Joe ‘s, and Whole Foods for the best choice .

Farmer Focus offers organic, free-range heirloom turkeys that average precisely 13 pounds in size. You can find Farmer Focus products at all Fresh Thyme, choice Kroger locations, and online through Fresh Direct .

Small turkey with carrots and parsnips on white platter
Constatine Poulos/Meredith

How long to Cook a Small Turkey

Cooking a belittled turkey is no different than cooking a larger turkey, aside from the cook time — learn how to cook a turkey hera .

The cosmopolitan dominion for cooking a turkey is 20 minutes per irish pound. Refer to our turkey cook time guide for more information. here ‘s a quick breakdown of cooking times for turkeys under 14 pounds :

minor Turkey Cooking Time Guide

Keep in take care these are estimates, and the most accurate way to check for doneness is to use an moment read thermometer. To temp a joker insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the second joint. The joker is done once the inner temperature reaches 165 degrees F. here are some general cook times for an unstuff, whole turkey cooked at 350 degrees F .

  • 6-10 pounds: 2 to 3 hours
  • 10-14 pounds: 3 to 4 hours


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