|Turkey Weight||Cooking Time||Doneness Temperature|
|4-6 lb. breast||1 hr 30 mins–2 hrs 15 mins||165°F|
|6-8 lb. breast||2 hrs 15 mins–3 hrs 15 mins||165°F|
|8-12 lbs.||2 hrs 45 mins–3 hrs||170-175°F|
|12-14 lbs.||3 hrs–3 hrs 45 mins||170-175°F|
Roast in a 325° or 350° (depending on size of bird; see below) oven until thermometer registers 160°. If turkey is unstuffed, tip slightly to drain juices from body cavity into pan. Transfer turkey to a platter. Let stand in a warm place, uncovered, for 15 to 30 minutes, then carve.
Calculate turkey cooking time and temperature. The simplest way to figure out turkey roasting times is to calculate 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey (that’s about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-lb. turkey), or 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.
According to the USDA, for an unstuffed turkey, you should allow 2 3/4 to 3 hours for an 8- to 12-pound turkey; 3 to 3 3/4 hours for a 12- to 14-pounder; 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours for a 14- to 18-pounder; 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours for an 18- to 20-pounder and 4 1/2 to 5 hours for an 20- to 24-pounder.
Wash Hands and Surfaces; not the Turkey
According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.
Roasting times for a turkey breast cooked in a 325 degrees F oven: Unstuffed, a 2 to 3-pound turkey will cook from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Unstuffed, a 7 to 8-pound turkey will cook from 2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hours; if stuffed, it will cook in 3 to 4 hours.
While some recipes state that turkey should be cooked to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat is safe to consume once it reaches the 165-degree mark. Cooking the breasts past 165 can result in dry meat, but the dark meat can be cooked to 180.
You’ll need a meat thermometer to make sure you cook your turkey to the right temperature. Insert it close to, but not touching, the thigh bone. If it reads 180 degrees F in the thigh and 170 degrees F in the breast, it’s done and ready to serve.
Lift turkey onto platter and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. 7-9 lbs. / 4-4 1/2 hrs. 9-12 lbs. / 4 1/2-5 hrs. 12-14 lbs. / 5-6 hrs.
|Turkey Weight||Servings||Cooking Time|
|10 to 12 lb||6 to 8||2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours|
|12 to 14 lb||8 to 10||2 3/4 to 3 hours|
|15 to 18 lb||10 to 12||3 1/4 to 4 hours|
|18 to 20 lb||12 to 14||4 to 4 1/4 hours|
Unsure how long you’re supposed to leave the bird in the oven? If you’re baking it at 325°F (the lowest temperature the USDA recommends), you’ll need to bake a 20-lb turkey in the oven for 4 to 5 hours if it’s unstuffed, and 4 ¼ to 5 ¼ hours if it’s stuffed.
|150°F (66°C)||3.7 minutes|
|155°F (68°C)||1.2 minutes|
|160°F (71°C)||26.1 seconds|
We do not recommend adding water to the bottom of the pan. Cooking a turkey with steam is a moist heat-cook method and is acceptable, sure, but is not the preferred method for cooking your turkey.” … This will create spotty browning and may look underdone—even when the meat is fully cooked.
Don’t butter your bird
Placing butter under the skin won’t make the meat juicier, though it might help the skin brown faster. However, butter is about 17 percent water, and it will make your bird splotchy, says López-Alt. Instead, rub the skin with vegetable oil before you roast.
Wrap the turkey when thawing it in cold water.
Submerge the wrapped turkey in it and change the water every half hour. Changing the water will help to ward off any contaminating bacteria. Allow 30 minutes of thawing time for each pound of turkey, which translates to two to six hours for a 4- to 12-pound turkey.
|6-8 lbs.||2 1/2 to 3 hours|
|8-12 lbs.||3 to 4 hours|
|12-16 lbs.||4 to 5 hours|
|16-20 lbs.||5 to 5 1/2 hours|
|Weight (in lbs.)||Regular Method||High Heat Method|
|4.5 to 5||1 hour 55 minutes||1 hour 40 minutes|
|5 to 5.5||2 hours 5 minutes||1 hour 50 minutes|
|5.5 to 6||2 hours 15 minutes||2 hours|
|6 to 6.5||2 hours 25 minutes||2 hours 10 minutes|
The general rule is 15 to 20 minutes per pound of turkey when cooking an unstuffed turkey.
According to the Department of Agriculture, a turkey must reach 165 degrees F to be safe, but you can take it out of the oven as low as 160 degrees F because the temperature will rise at it rests.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends that your turkey reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F during cooking to be safely consumed based on the fact that bacteria threat, salmonella, cannot withstand temperatures of 160°F after 30 seconds.
Cook your turkey until your thermometer reads 155 -160 degrees. (Yes, we know that new safe cooking guidelines say to cook your bird to 165 degrees (they used to say 180!), but remember that your turkey will continue to cook after removed from the oven and it’s temperature will increase by 10 degrees while resting.
The amount of resting time depends on the size of the bird, but at least 20 minutes is needed. A large bird can wait up to 40 minutes or longer, depending on the temperature of the room.
: a person who is somewhat fat. See the full definition for butterball in the English Language Learners Dictionary.
In fact, there is no actual butter in or on a Butterball turkey. The fresh turkeys are injected with a basting solution made of salt water and “common household spices,” one brand representative told me.
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