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How to Cook a Turkey

For tender turkey every time

To Roast

1.  Heat oven to 325°F.  Remove neck, giblet and gravy packet, if applicable. These may be used to prepare gravy or stuffing. 

2.  The plastic leg clamp should be left on during cooking.

3.  Place turkey on rack in shallow pan, breast side up, and loosely cover with foil.  Remove foil after 1 hour of cooking.

4.  Roast until timer pops up and turkey is fully-cooked, 180°F as measured by a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and 165°F in the breast.  ALWAYS confirm doneness with a meat thermometer.   Juices should run clear.

5.  Let turkey stand 20 minutes before carving.

6.  For optimal safety, cook stuffing and turkey separately. If desired, add fully cooked stuffing to cooked turkey just prior to serving.

Approximate Oven Roasting Time at 325°F.

Turkey Weight

Cooking Time

8 - 12 pounds

3-1/2 hours to 4 hours

12 - 18 pounds

4-1/4 hours  to 4-3/4 hours

18 - 22 pounds

4-1/2 hours to 5 hours

22 - 24 pounds

4-3/4 to 5-1/4 hours


Wash hands and all items that come into contact with uncooked turkey.


Find more whole turkey basics here.