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How to Roast a Turkey

How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey
November 20, 2020 Lena Tito

How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey

Open up your favorite holiday bottle of wine, take a deep breath and follow our easy how-to guide for roasting the perfect, moist holiday turkey.

Turkey Roasting Timetable

Oven times are approximate and will vary. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of 165° F has been reached.

Based on 325° F oven temperature.

Unstuffed

6 – 8 lbs

1.5 – 2.75 hours

8 – 12 lbs

2.75 – 3 hours

12 – 14 lbs

3 – 3.75 hours

14 – 18 lbs

3.75 – 4.25 hours

18 – 20 lbs

4.25 – 4.5 hours

20 – 24 lbs

4.25 – 5 hours

Stuffed

6 – 8 lbs

2.5 – 3 hours

8 – 12 lbs

3 – 3.5 hours

12 – 14 lbs

3.5 – 4 hours

14 – 18 lbs

4 – 4.25 hours

18 – 20 lbs

4.25 – 4.75 hours

20 – 24 lbs

4.75 – 5.25 hours

Basic Turkey Roasting Instructions

  • Remove the giblets from turkey cavities.
  • Set oven temperature to 325° degrees.
  • Cover turkey with butter and seasonings.
  • Place turkey on lower rack in shallow roasting pan.
  • For even cooking, do not place stuffing inside turkey, cook in separate dish.
  • If you choose to stuff your turkey, separate wet and dry ingredients until you are ready to prepare. Then, mix wet and dry ingredients together and fill turkey cavities loosley. Cook turkey immediately.
  • Whole turkeys should be cooked to 165° F. Insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh without touching the bone to check if it is ready.
  • Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

Basic Brine

1/2 gallon of water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup kosher salt

3 dried bay leaves

1. Heat water, add salt and sugar; stir to dissolve and add bay leaves. Allow to cool completely.

2. Remove innards from turkey, rinse and pat dry.

3. Pour brine over turkey into brine bag or pot, if using, making sure to submerge turkey. Close bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

4. Remove from brine, rinse, pat dry and cook turkey.

Turkey Gravy

1. Remove all but 1/4 cup of fat and browned drippings from pan, and place on stove top over medium heat.

2. Add 4 tablespoons of flour to the drippings, stirring quickly. Slowly add 3 – 4 cups of liquid (stock, water, milk, cream) to make 2 cups of gravy.

3. Season with salt and pepper.