How Long To Cook A Turkey: A Pound-By-Pound Guide

When it comes to preparing the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, one size does n’t fit all. And while recipes and “ box directions ” normally offer some general guidance, they do n’t always cover all the important factors .

But fear not—you ‘ve found the perfect template for roasting your best turkey, no matter the size. Just check out our handy charts below, and pay particular attention the following tips to guarantee your Thanksgiving fete is a delightful success .

Carved Turkey Presentation
Alison Miksch

Fast Turkey Tips

Before we get started on the specifics of turkey roasting times, these handy Q & As may help you understand the numbers below .

What size turkey should I buy ?

That depends on how many people you ‘re feeding. On average, expression to buy one to one and half pounds per Thanksgiving guest. For 10 people, you ‘ll want a turkey between 10 and 15 pounds .

How long to cook a turkey per pound ?

More on this downstairs, but the standard rule of turkey roasting fourth dimension says 13 minutes per pound for unstuff birds and 15 minutes per pound for the stuffed ones .

At what temperature should I cook the turkey ?

Techniques for cooking a turkey vary. Some cooks swear by starting the bird off at 450°F to get a crisp bark. We like a steady temperature the unharmed prison term, and 325°F is the ideal turkey roasting temperature in our books .

How will I know when a turkey is done ?

Grab your kernel thermometer, and stick the probe in the thickest part of the joker thigh. When it reads 165°F, your boo is cooked .

How long should a turkey stay before carving ?

Resting the turkey before carve is essential to prevent all that delightful moisture from escaping, then induce indisputable you let the turkey rest at least 15 minutes once it ‘s out of the oven .

To Baste or not to Baste ?

That is indeed the interview, correct ? While basting your turkey may seem as close to Thanksgiving gospel as a Norman Rockwell painting, it is n’t adenine necessity or a helpful as you may think .

Read more about our take on baste, but the kernel is this : The more you open that oven door to baste your boo, the longer it ‘s going to take to roast evenly. And if you have a farseeing line of Thanksgiving slope dishes waiting to bake up golden brown and bubbly, that ‘s precious time you do n’t want to waste. so keep that oven door closed vitamin a much as potential .

To Stuff or not to Stuff ?

There are a lot of food base hit debates when it comes to filling your turkey with stuffing ( we all know it ‘s dressing, correct ? ), so we wo n’t get into that right at this moment. But we ‘d be derelict to not point out that baking a stuffed-to-the-brim bird takes longer than baking an unstuff bird .

stuff or do n’t stuff—that ‘s wholly up to you. equitable know it does take a bite longer to bake. Do n’t worry : The handy charts below cover that, excessively !

How big Is Too Big ?

If you have n’t already bought your joker, we advise that you buy a turkey that ‘s between 12 and 15 pounds—anything larger could result in mismatched cook. If you must buy a 24-pound turkey, we ‘ll still provide a time stove, but we recommend buying two smaller birds alternatively .

The Right Temp to Cook a turkey

If you ‘d like to keep things childlike, set your oven temperature to 325°F for a for a behind, steady roast. Preheat your oven to 325°F, and use the timetable below .

You can besides find more information on If you ‘re more adventurous, there ‘s more than one way to roast a joker. But if you already have enough on your plate ( and it ‘s Thanksgiving, so you surely do ! ), stick to a trustworthy 325°F .

How to Tell When a Turkey Is Done

When it comes to the cook time for your bird, focus on the temperature of the kernel quite than the actual time. The times listed below are a road map to help you plan the approximate time required to cook your Thanksgiving turkey to the veracious temperature, but we highly recommend using a kernel thermometer to determine doneness. Remove the joker from the oven when a thermometer inserted in the thickest dowry of the thigh registers 165°F .

Thanksgiving Turkey Cooking Time By Pound
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8 – 12 pound Turkey Cooking time :

2 hours 45 minutes – 3 hours ( unstuff )

3 hours – 3 hours 30 minutes ( stuff )

12 – 14 pound Turkey Cooking meter :

3 hours – 3 hours and 45 minutes ( unstuff )

3 hours 30 minutes – 4 hours ( gorge )

14 – 18 pound Turkey Cooking time :

3 hours 45 minutes – 4 hours 15 minutes ( unstuff )

4 hours – 4 hours 15 minutes ( farce )

18 – 20 pound Turkey Cooking time :

4 hours 15 minutes – 4 hours 30 minutes ( unstuff )

4 hours 15 minutes – 4 hours 45 minutes ( thrust )

20 – 24 pound Turkey Cooking time :

4 hours 30 minutes – 5 hours ( unstuff )

4 hours 45 minutes – 5 hours 15 minutes ( stuff )

Turkey Size Unstuffed Cooking Time Stuffed Cooking Time
8 – 12 pounds 2 hours, 45 minutes – 3 hours 3 hours – 3 hours, 30 minutes
12 – 14 pounds 3 hours – 3 hours, 45 minutes 3 hours, 30 minutes – 4 hours
14 – 18 pounds 3 hours, 45 minutes – 4 hours, 15 minutes 4 hours – 4 hours, 15 minutes
18 – 20 pounds 4 hours, 15 minutes – 4 hours, 30 minutes 4 hours, 15 minutes – 4 hours, 45 minutes
20 – 24 pounds 4 hours, 30 minutes – 5 hours 4 hours, 45 minutes – 5 hours, 15 minutes

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