Best practices: use a food thermometer to ensure that internal temperature of the turkey is at least 165 degrees (F) before removing from the oven and cook your stuffing separately.
|Preparation Time:||15 minutes|
|Cooking Time:||2 3/4 - 5 hours|
|Time Until Ready:||3 1/2 - 5 3/4 hours|
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F). Check the wrapper to see how much the turkey weighs and determine approximate cooking time (see chart below). Remove the giblet bag and the neck from the turkey cavity. Wash the turkey inside and out and pat skin dry with paper towels.
- Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a shallow (about 2 inches deep) but roomy roasting pan. Insert food thermometer in thigh. Add 1/2 cup water to the bottom of pan, if desired.
- Cover turkey loosely with a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Roast the turkey until temperature in the innermost part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees (F) as measured with a food thermometer. Check the wing and the thickest part of the breast. You may choose to cook the turkey to higher temperatures. Cooking time will vary. For example, a 20 pound turkey will take 4 1/4 to 5 hours to cook, check the temperature on the thermometer after 4 1/4 hours.
- Meanwhile, mix the stuffing or dressing. Place in a casserole and pop it into the oven during the last hour or so of roasting time.
- Remove the foil after 1 to 1 1/2 hours of cooking time to brown the skin. Brush with vegetable oil to enhance browning, if desired.
- Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. Make sure it is at least 165 degrees (F) before removing from the oven.
- Allow the turkey to set 20 to 30 minutes before carving to allow juices to saturate the meat evenly.
Note: Cooking times will vary if your oven is not at 325 degrees to begin with or if your turkey is not fully thawed.
USDA Roasting Timetable for Unstuffed Turkey at 325 degrees (F).
These times are approximate and should always be used in conjunction with a properly placed thermometer.
8 to 12 pounds 2 3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 hours
To cook your turkey faster, wrap the turkey completely in aluminum foil and cook at 450 degrees (F).
To brown the turkey, open the foil during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
This method produces a moist bird with a light golden, non-crisp skin. The cooking time is reduced by 1/2 - 1 hour due to higher temperatures and the trapped steam inside the foil.
Delicious with cranberry chutney
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