Turkey Roasting Chart & Turkey Cooking Tips

Since Thanksgiving dinner is fast approaching, now is the time to refresh our memories as to safe handling procedures when roasting a turkey.  Refer to this post whenever you will be making a turkey dinner for proper roasting temps and cooking times.

Tips for cooking a Perfect Turkey with Safe handling instructions.

1. Set the oven temperature to 325 °F.

2. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Roasting times are based on fresh or completely thawed turkeys.

3. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan.  If pan does not have a rack, make a sturdy 2-piece “lifter” from heavy duty reynolds wrap, long enough to safely lift the turkey from the pan once it has cooled.

4. For shorter cooking times,  cook stuffing in a casserole. Mix ingredients just before stuffing a turkey and stuff loosely.

5. For food safety and test for doneness, the internal temperature should be checked with a meat thermometer. Temperature must reach 180 °F in the thigh of a turkey (center of the stuffing should reach 165 °F)

6. Juices should run clear. In the absence of a meat thermometer, pierce an unstuffed turkey with a fork in several places - the juices should be clear with no trace of pink.

7. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing stuffing.  Let stand another 10 minutes before carving.

APPROXIMATE COOKING TIMES

UNSTUFFED

  • 4 to 6 lb breast…..1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hrs
  • 6 to 8 lb breast…2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hrs
  • 8 to 12 lbs…………….2 3/4 to 3 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs…………..3 to 3 3/4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs……..3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs……..4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs…………..4 1/2 to 5 hrs

STUFFED

  • 8 to 12 lbs……………3 to 3 1/2 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs…………..3 1/2 to 4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs…………..4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs……..4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs……..4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hrs