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How to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

How to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey
How to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

The highlight of Thanksgiving is often the Turkey. Here are easy to follow instructions on how to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey your family and friends will love.

Roasting a whole turkey is easier than you think. Just follow these simple instructions for a fresh or thawed turkey:

Option #1: Traditional Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels.
  2. Place turkey breast-side-up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep.
  3. Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. (Tucking the wings will help stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving) Brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
  4. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh without touching the bone. If the turkey is stuffed, and the thigh is up to temperature, move the thermometer to the center of the stuffing.
  5. Place your turkey in the oven.
  6. When the turkey is about ⅔ done, loosely cover the breast with a piece of foil to prevent overcooking.
  7. Your turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer is 180° F in thigh and 170° F in breast or stuffing.
  8. Lift turkey onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Option #2: Oven Roaster

  1. Preheat roaster to 325° F. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels.
  2. Place turkey breast-side-up on a flat rack at the bottom of the roaster.
  3. Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. (Tucking the wings will help stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving) Brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
  4. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh without touching the bone. If the turkey is stuffed, and the thigh is up to temperature, move the thermometer to the center of the stuffing.
  5. Cover your turkey with the roaster lid.
  6. Your turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer is 180° F in thigh and 170° F in breast or stuffing.
  7. Lift turkey onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Cooking Times

Weight Cook Time (Unstuffed) Cook Time (Stuffed)

6-7 LBS.

2-2½ HRS.

2¼-2¾ HRS.

7-10 LBS.

2½-3 HRS.

2¾-3½ HRS.

10-18 LBS.

3-3½ HRS.

3¾-4½ HRS.

18-22 LBS.

3½-4 HRS.

4½-5 HRS.

22-24 LBS.

4-4½ HRS.

5-5½ HRS.

24-30 LBS.

4½-5 HRS.

5½-6¼ HRS.

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