The main event during the holidays often involves serving a perfectly juicy and succulent roast turkey to the ones you love. The last thing you want to do is present an overcooked (or worse, undercooked) bird. Even if this isn’t your first gobbler, it’s handy to have a cheat sheet on file to ensure you’re on track for dinner time. Follow the chart below for a foolproof way to roast the perfect turkey for your holiday feast every single time.
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How to Roast a Basic Turkey
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large roasting pan, place thawed turkey, breast side up and tent with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake turkey using the chart below. Remove foil during last hour of cook time. Cook until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 170°F.
|Size of Turkey||Unstuffed||Stuffed|
|10-12lbs||3 – 3 ¼ hours||3 ½–3 ¾ hours|
|12-16bs||3 ¼ – 3 ¾ hours||3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hours|
|16-20lbs||3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hours||4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours|
|20-24lbs||4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours||4 ¾ – 5 ¼ hours|
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Top Turkey Cooking Tips
1. If using a frozen bird, ensure it’s fully defrosted before roasting.
2. Take your bird out of the fridge while the oven preheats. Juices will run clear when the turkey is done. Look at the juices running from the meat around the thigh bone.
3. If you’re using a convection oven, your bird will cook in 25 per cent less time. Take 15 minutes off each hour on the recommended times above.
4. After the turkey is removed from the oven, let it rest for minimum 30 minutes. The juices need to resettle into the meat.
Looking for more delicious inspiration? Here are the perfect side dishes to pair with your holiday turkey.