How Long Does It Take To Cook A Turkey? In This Case, Size Matters

Trying to figure out how long it will take to roast your Thanksgiving turkey? Whether you are roasting a fresh or frozen turkey, you will need a calculator and a poultry thermometer to ensure your holiday bird is cooked to perfection.

Cooking times are all based on weight, but that’s not all. If you plan to stuff your turkey with cornbread dressing or your favorite stuffing recipe, you will have to add additional cooking time.

Depending on the size of the turkey you purchased, cooking time could take anywhere from three to nine hours. The bigger the bird, the more time it will need in the oven. Stuff it with homemade dressing and you will have to put the turkey in the oven first thing in the morning if you want to eat before the Thanksgiving Day NFL games begin.

In addition to the cooking times outlined below, it’s important to consider the amount of time you will need to prepare your turkey before it goes into the oven. If you purchased a frozen turkey at the last minute, thawing the bird could take a few hours. According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, frozen turkeys can be defrosted in a sink filled with cold water, but the size of the bird will determine how long it will take.

Before you put your prepped turkey in the oven, Butterball suggests that you insert an oven-safe meat thermometer horizontally into the breast, taking care not to touch the bone with the thermometer’s probe. Use the cooking times below as a guide, but it’s most important that the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh.

Turkey Cooking Times Roasted
Turkey cooking time [Image by OKRAD/iStock Photo]

Here’s where a calculator will come into play — cooking time is based on weight multiplied by minutes necessary to cook the turkey to the required internal temperature. According to the Food Network, the average cooking time for an unstuffed turkey is approximately 12-15 minutes when cooked in a 325°F oven. A turkey that is stuffed will take approximately 15-20 minutes per pound.

For example, it should take 1.5 to 2 hours to roast an unstuffed eight-pound turkey (unstuffed) or two hours stuffed. A 20-pound stuffed turkey will take approximately 5 hours in the oven. If it is unstuffed, the cooking time should be between 4 and 5 hours.

If you’re pressed for time, there’s always the deep-fryer option, but the turkey cannot weight more than 14 pounds. According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, cooking time in a deep fryer is 3 to 4 minutes per pound.

[Image by StrikingPhotography/iStock Photo]