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5 Easy Steps to a Perfectly Roasted Turkey

  1. Thaw the turkey and remove neck and giblets from the neck and body cavities.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  3. Place turkey breast-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. If cooking stuffing inside the turkey, fill the body cavity with stuffing now.

  4. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone.

  5. Roast the turkey, uncovered, until the meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F. Use the roasting timetable to estimate approximate cooking time. If stuffed, make sure the temperature of the stuffing has reached 160 to 165 degrees F. before removing the turkey from the oven.

Timetable for Roasting a Turkey at 325 Degrees F.

Unstuffed Turkey

  • 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

Stuffed Turkey

  • 8 to 12 pounds - 3 to 3 1/2 hours
  • 12 to 14 pounds - 3 1/2 to 4 hours
  • 14 to 18 pounds - 4 to 4 1/4 hours
  • 18 to 20 pounds - 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds - 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

Source: The National Turkey Federation

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