How Long Does it Take to Cook a Turkey?

okay i do know right now Halloween is around the corner but we do know too that thanks giving is after. so you can read this too get a head while preparing for Halloween too.

Depending on the size of your turkey, it can take anywhere from 2-1/2 hours to upwards of 5-hours for a very large bird. Here are some rules to follow, as well as a time table for how long to cook a turkey based on how small or large it is.

How to cook your Turkey.

  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed.

Check the bird to ensure there are no ice crystals, and also make sure the giblets and neck are removed from the turkey’s cavities. Trying to cook a frozen turkey will add on many more hours of roasting time comparatively to a thawed bird. And do not  forget to take out the neck and giblets as it will not only add onto the cooking time, it will most probably mess up the flavor of the bird since they are usually encased in thick plastic.

  • How long to roast a turkey by oven roasting at 325°?

For an unstuffed 8-lb turkey, roast it for around two-and-three-quarter hours (for stuffed, roast for three hours).

Regarding a stuffed 12-lb turkey, roast for three hours, and for stuffed roast for three-and-a-half hours.

With an unstuffed 14-lb turkey, oven roast for three-and-three-quarter hours, when stuffed, roast for four hours.

For an unstuffed 18-lb turkey, roast for four-and-a-quarter hours, as with a stuffed one, roast for the same amount of time.

When dealing with a 20-lb unstuffed bird, put to roast for four-and-a-quarter hours, for stuffed, roast for four-and-three-quarters hours.

A 24-lb unstuffed turkey roast for exactly five hours, and for a stuffed 24-lb turkey, roast for five-and-a-quarter hours.

  • Being stuffed or un-stuffed will alter the cooking times.

As you can see above, having the turkey stuffed or unstuffed will alter the cooking times a bit. If you want the turkey to cook faster, don’t stuff it; instead make your stuffing on the side, either in a pan in the oven with turkey or on the stove in a pan (like using the old stand-by Stove Top Stuffing™).

  • Using high-heat will cut down the cooking time.

If you roast your turkey at high-heat (425°), it will greatly reduce the cooking time. For example, for an 8-lb unstuffed turkey, when roast it at 425° it will cook in approximately 64-minutes. A 12-lb unstuffed bird will cook at 425° in around 96-minutes, and a 20-lb turkey will roast at 425° in about 160-minutes (unstuffed).

  • Grilling your turkey?

Here are the times to use.

Make sure NOT to stuff your turkey if you are going to grill it. These are the times to cook your bird on the grill: For an 8-lb bird, cook for 90-minutes; with a 12-lb turkey, grill for 135-minutes; 14-lb bird, cook for 180-minutes;  18-lb turkey, grill for 210-minutes;  20-lb bird, cook for 225-minutes; and for a 24-lb turkey, grill for 270-minutes.

  • Deep-frying your turkey.

Deep-frying turkeys have become very popular in recent years, and here are the approximate frying times to use for your bird: (Remember, again you do not want to stuff your turkey if you’re deep-frying it.) For deep-frying your bird, it takes approximately 3-5 minutes per pound if you’re cooking it in 350° oil. Always be sure to check the internal temp of your bird after deep-frying your bird to make sure it’s around 160°.


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