Not sure how long to cook a turkey dinner? We’ve got all the nuts and bolts to make sure you roast a flawless turkey every time. Whether you are a first time cook or if you are trying to cook a turkey for the hundredth time, our tips on how long to cook a turkey, will guarantee that your big bird is cooked the best it can be.
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a turkey. In spite of all of our best efforts, no one has ever cooked a complete Thanksgiving dinner hassle-free. And we completely understand why this happens. There are a lot of chores and arrangements to juggle, just to figure out the oven time can be more than confusing in itself, to add to the pile of problems you also need to figure out how long to cook a turkey — and oh, amongst all the preparations you can’t overlook the importance of a shower and decent clothes and what about your lunch, you gotta eat at some point?
You have the bird, you have the recipe, but exactly, how long to cook a turkey, for best results? Here’s a handy guide that may be more than helpful!
Knowing the weight of your turkey and a meat thermometer is the ultimate secret weapon to cook the bird impeccably. Once you know how much you the bird weighs, you’ll identify roughly how long to cook a turkey — whether you’re grilling, roasting or deep frying. We didn’t forget to take into consideration the stuffing (coz most people choose to stuff their bird), and even gave some consideration to those of us who failed to remember it was Thanksgiving and needed to cook a frozen turkey (all I can say is I have been there, done that!)
Table of Contents
How Long To Cook A Turkey – By Basic Roasting
|How Long To Cook A Turkey by Basic Roasting – UnStuffed|
|4 to 8 pounds (breast)||1½ to 3¼ hours|
|8 to 12 pounds||2¾ to 3 hours|
|12 to 14 pounds||3 to 3¾ hours|
|14 to 18 pounds||3¾ to 4¼ hours|
|18 to 20 pounds||4¼ to 4½ hours|
|20 to 24 pounds||4½ to 5 hours|
|How Long To Cook A Turkey by Basic Roasting – Stuffed|
|4 to 6 pounds (breast)||Not usually applicable|
|6 to 8 pounds (breast)||2½ to 3½ hours|
|8 to 12 pounds||3 to 3½ hours|
|12 to 14 pounds||3½ to 4 hours|
|14 to 18 pounds||4 to 4¼ hours|
|18 to 20 pounds||4¼ to 4¾ hours|
|20 to 24 pounds||4¼ to 5¼ hours|
Above table is given by the USDA and this table is based on a 325 °F oven, and a completely defrosted or fresh turkey. (For an unstuffed turkey, we’ve estimated approximately 15 minutes per pound). It will take you no less than 50% longer than the suggested times, if you are cooking a frozen turkey
How Long To Cook A Turkey – By Temperature
The easiest technique to identify when your turkey is cooked is through its temperature. The USDA says that a turkey is safe once “cooked to a lowest internal temperature of 165 °F as calculated with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast and the inmost parts of the wing and thigh.”
How Long To Cook A Turkey – By Pop-Up Temperature Marker
let’s take a look at how long to cook a Turkey – by pop-up temperature marker, If your turkey comprises of a “pop-up” temperature marker, it is suggested that you also verify the internal temperature of the turkey in the inmost parts of the wing and thigh and the thickest part of breast with the food thermometer. Remember, the internal temperature should reach a minimum of 165 °F to comply with safety.
How Long To Cook A Turkey – By Convection Oven
A turkey breast or whole turkey cooks more quickly with even better results when a convection oven is used. Convection ovens circulate preheated air in the region of the oven cavity for quicker and more even cooking. It reduces the traditional roasting times by 10 to 40 percent, depending on the manufacturer. More often than not, both time and roasting temperature are reduced when you use a convection oven. The formula for conversion may differ for each convection oven. Most manufacturers give conversion formulas on the control panel of the oven.
|How Long To Cook A Turkey – By Convection Oven|
|8 lbs||1.25 hours|
|12 lbs||1.75 hours|
|14 lbs||2 hours|
|18 lbs||3 hours|
|20 lbs||4 hours|
|24 lbs||4.25 hours|
Indirect heat is crucial for an evenly cooked and moist turkey. For a scrumptious grilled turkey create 2 beds of charcoal on the opposite sides of charcoal grate and make a wide area open in the middle. Place your turkey on the roasting rack-set in 2 large disposable foil pans and place a pan above the open middle area. Don’t forget to close the lid.
Timing on a grilled turkey is complicated given that every grill is hugely different, but here’s a simple guide to estimate time based on weight.
|How Long To Cook A Turkey – By Grilling|
|8 lbs||90 Mins|
|12 lbs||135 Mins|
|14 lbs||180 Mins|
|18 lbs||210 Mins|
|20 lbs||225 Mins|
How Long To Cook A Turkey – By Deep Frying
In recent years, deep frying your thanksgiving turkey is becoming more and more popular. This method of cooking prepares a temptingly delicious and tender turkey, and is a great substitute to conventional cooking methods. It is particularly important, however, take precautions and follow instructions carefully.
A deep fried turkey takes approximately 3 to 5 minutes per pound if it being cooked in 350 degree F oil. Shove off the big bird to one side for at least half an hour and then do the same for the other side as well.
Add oil in the fryer. Preheat oil to 400° F. Once it is heated, lower the turkey slowly into the fryer. Set the timer to cook the bird for approximately 5 minutes per pound. Cook the dark meat to an internal temperature of around 175° F to 180° F, and the white meat to around 165° F to 170° internal temperature.