How Long To Cook A Turkey
Knowing how long to cook a turkey can be tricky business for a first time turkey roaster. Cooking time always depends on the weight of the turkey. The larger the bird, the longer the cooking time will be. One thing is for sure, nothing beats the mouth watering smell of a turkey roasting in the oven, no matter the size of the bird.
To determine how long to cook a turkey, you will need:
- A labeled turkey, thawed or frozen
- A scale, if turkey has no weight on the label
- Meat thermometer
- When ready to cook the turkey, it must first be thawed. Thawing must be done in the refrigerator and can take quite a while, so plan ahead.
- It will take one day for every four pounds of turkey needing to be thawed. For example, if you have a sixteen pound bird, you will need four full days to thaw.
- Cook the turkey at 325°, two hours for every four pounds it weighs. For instance, a twenty pound turkey would need to be cooked for about five hours.
- For stuffed turkeys, add about fifteen minutes to the total cooking time.
- When nearing the end of your estimated cooking time, test the internal temperature of the turkey at the hip joint with the meat thermometer. It should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally to be safe to eat. Covering the turkey with foil may slow down the cooking process, while dark roasting pans and cooking bags can speed up the cooking process.
- To cook an unstuffed turkey on a 400 degree grill, cook one hour for every six pounds of bird. Check with the thermometer at the hip joint every hour.