The holidays are coming, and that means it’s time to roast a turkey! But how long do you need to cook it for? And how do you tell when your turkey is cooked? This blog post will answer all of your questions so that your holiday dinner is perfect. We’ll provide you a turkey cooking time chart and some tips for making sure your turkey is cooked through. So relax – we’ve got this covered!
How Long Does it Take to Cook a Turkey?
There are a few other factors that you need to take into account when calculating the cooking time. First, if your turkey is stuffed, it will take longer to cook. Second, resting your turkey at room temperature for 1 hour prior to cooking will speed up the cooking time (and it will cook more evenly). And finally, if you’re using a convection oven, you may find the need to reduce the cooking time by about 25%.
Here is a chart to calculate the time it takes to cook a stuffed and unstuffed turkey at 325˚F – 350˚F:
Approximate Cooking Times:
11-14 lbs (5-6.3 kg) cooked for 3-3.5 hrs (stuffed) or 2.5-3 hrs (unstuffed)
15-18 lbs (6.8-8 kg) cooked for 3.75-4.25 hrs (stuffed) or 3.25-3.75 hrs (unstuffed)
19-21 lbs (8.6-9.5 kg) cooked for 4.25-4.75 hrs (stuffed) or 3.75-4.25 hrs (unstuffed)
22-24 lbs (9.9-11 kg) cooked for 4.75-5.25 hrs (stuffed) or 4.25-4.75 hrs (unstuffed)
25-28 lbs (11.3-12.7 kg) cooked for 5.25-5.75 hrs (stuffed) or 4.75-5.25 hrs (unstuffed)
How to Tell When Your Turkey is Cooked
The best way to ensure that your turkey is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Ontario Turkey recommends a final internal temperature of 170˚F for unstuffed turkey and 180˚F for stuffed turkey. Remove the turkey from the oven at 5˚F below these temperatures (165˚F for unstuffed and 175˚F for stuffed). Tent the turkey with foil and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise to a final temperature of 170˚F/180˚F.
While a thermometer is the best method to use when determining if your turkey is done, you can use some other clues for doneness. For example, the juices should run clear when you insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh. And the legs should move easily in their sockets.
What if My Turkey is Done Early?
If your turkey is cooked earlier than expected, don’t fret! Simply remove it from the oven and tent with foil. Layer some towels on top of the foil. The turkey will stay warm for about one hour. If you need to keep it warm for longer, you can carve the turkey and place it on a platter. Cover the platter with foil and place it in a warm oven at a low temperature (200˚F).
Now that you know how to cook a turkey, all that’s left to do is enjoy your holiday feast! We hope this blog post has taken some of the stress out of cooking the perfect turkey. And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask us!