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Turkey Roasting Chart. For a fresh or thawed turkey: Set the oven to 325 °F. Cook to 165 °F. Related Information: For details on grilling, smoking, microwaving, or deep fat frying turkey, see Alternative Ways to Cook Turkey. For details on preparing, cooking, and storing turkey, see Turkey.
No Thanksgiving guest is more important than the turkey. But you might have a late arrival on your hands if you don’t get it in the oven on time. Planning a 3 p.m. meal? You’ll need to have a 20-pound bird (sans stuffing) cooking by around 10:30 a.m. Don’t stress about the math—just follow our easy chart, with recommendations from the USDA.
The general rule for cooking a turkey is 20 minutes per pound, but that can vary depending on whether or not your turkey recipe calls for a stuffed or unstuffed bird. Use this handy chart to determine approximately how long to cook it, whether stuffed or unstuffed.
The general rule for cooking a large bird is about 20 minutes a pound. But these cooking times vary, depending on whether you begin with a turkey that is stuffed versus one that is not. A stuffed turkey will take up to 30 minutes more than one that is unstuffed. In addition to checking the temperature of the turkey, you need to check the temperature of the dressing as well.
Use the following chart as a turkey cooking time and temperature guide for whole turkeys and turkey parts that are oven baked or roasted, grilled, or are inserted into an oven bag prior to cooking the turkey. See the article "Turkey Doneness" for additional information on determining the proper doneness of meat.
Baste the turkey with juices several times throughout cooking. When the skin is a light golden color and the turkey is about two-thirds done, shield the breast loosely with a tent of lightweight foil to prevent overcooking of the breast.
The turkey can be basted several times during the cooking time. A half hour before the turkey is set to come out of the oven remove the foil so that the bird may brown. Once the internal temperature of the turkey breast is at 170°F (77°C), the turkey is ready to come out of the oven. Let the turkey sit 15 - 20 minutes.
Figuring out the turkey cooking time is one of the tricky parts about planning a big turkey dinner. After all, you want to be eating at a reasonable time, and ideally the turkey will be completely cooked, but still nice and moist. But there are a lot of things that affect how long it'll take for your turkey to cook.