Turkey Cooking Times

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The proper turkey cooking times and the correct turkey cooking temperature are extremely important when cooking turkey. The optimum flavor and tenderness of turkey can be consistently achieved when care is taken to follow the recommended turkey cooking time and temperature guidelines.

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Using the recommended time and temperature guidelines will ensure that the meat is cooked to the minimum safe internal temperature, which is critical in preventing food-borne illness that can be caused by undercooked turkey. Using an accurate meat thermometer is the best way to ensure the proper doneness of turkey meat.

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. See the "Turkey Guide" for many valuable turkey cooking tips.

TURKEY Cooking Times and Temperatures

Turkey Oven Roasted at 325°F

Type Weight Approximate Cooking Time
Unstuffed Stuffed
Turkey (whole) 8 - 12 lbs. 2 3/4 - 3 hours 3 - 3 1/2 hours
Turkey (whole) 12 - 14 lbs. 3 - 3 3/4 hours 3 1/2 - 4 hours
Turkey (whole) 14 - 18 lbs. 3 3/4 - 4 1/4 hours 4 - 4 1/4 hours
Turkey (whole)
18 - 20 lbs. 4 1/4 - 4 1/2 hours 4 1/4 - 4 3/4 hours
Turkey (whole) 20 - 24 lbs. 4 1/2 - 5 hours 4 3/4 - 5 1/2 hours
Breast (half) 2 - 3 lbs. 50 - 60 minutes
Breast (whole) 4 - 6 lbs. 1 1/2 - 2 1/4 hours
Breast (whole) 6 - 8 lbs. 2 1/4 - 3 1/4 hours
Drumsticks 3/4 - 1 lb. 2 - 2 1/4 hours
Thighs 3/4 - 1 lb. 1 3/4 - 2 hours
Wings 6 - 8 oz. 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 hours
Note: Start with turkey at refrigerator temperature. Remove the turkey from the oven when the
meat thermometer reads 175°- 180°F; the temperature will continue to rise as the turkey stands.

Grilled Turkey

Type Weight Approximate Cooking Time
(internal temperature 180°F)
Unstuffed Stuffed
Whole turkey (indirect heat) 8 - 12 lbs. 2 - 3 hours
Whole turkey (indirect heat) 12 - 16 lbs. 3 - 4 hours
Note: When grilling with Indirect Heat generally the coals (or burners on a gas grill) are heated to a high heat. When grilling with Direct Heat the coals (or burners on a gas grill) are heated to a medium heat. Use these heat settings unless you have a recipe that states something different. See how to test the grill temperature.

Turkey Cooked at 350°F in an Oven Bag

Type Total Weight Approximate Cooking Time
Regular-Size
Oven Bag
10" x 16"
Large-Size
Oven Bag
14" x 20"
Turkey-Size
Oven Bag
19" x 23 1/2"
Whole turkey (unstuffed) 8 - 12 lbs. 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Whole turkey (unstuffed) 12 - 16 lbs. 2 - 2 1/2 hours
Whole turkey (unstuffed) 16 - 20 lbs. 2 1/2 - 3 hours
Whole turkey (unstuffed) 20 - 24 lbs. 3 - 3 1/2 hours
Whole turkey (stuffed) 8 - 12 lbs. 2 - 2 1/2 hours
Whole turkey (stuffed) 12 - 16 lbs. 2 1/2 - 3 hours
Whole turkey (stuffed) 16 - 20 lbs. 3 - 3 1/2 hours
Whole turkey (stuffed) 20 - 24 lbs. 3 1/2 - 4 hours
Turkey breast (bone-in) 4 - 8 lbs. 1 1/4 - 2 hours
Turkey breast (bone-in) 10 - 12 lbs. 2 1/4 - 2 3/4 hours
Turkey breast (boneless) 2 1/2 - 3 lbs. 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 hours
Turkey breast (boneless) 5 lbs. 2 - 2 1/4 hours
Turkey breast (boneless) 8 - 12 lbs. 3 - 3 1/2 hours
Turkey drumsticks 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours
Turkey drumsticks 2 - 3 lbs. 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours
Oven Bag Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add 1 tablespoon flour to the oven bag and distribute evenly on the inside of the bag prior to inserting the turkey. Brush the turkey with vegetable oil or butter. Remove the turkey from the oven when the meat thermometer reaches 175°- 180°F. If using a turkey-size oven bag for a turkey smaller than 12 lbs., gather the oven bag loosely around the meat allowing room for heat circulation; then close the bag with a nylon tie, and cut away any excess oven bag.

Turkey Cooking Times Reviews

turkey cooking times

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Average of 4.91 out of 5 stars
Rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Ratings (11)
Reviews (15)
Comments (0)
KiyLynn User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Great chart but click on the Turkey Guide link and you will find links to everything you would ever want to know about turkey and preparing it."
RecipeTips.com User
Reviewed By
"ReallyMom Really, the stuffing should reach at least an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Go to http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--1226/how-to-make-stuffing.asp and you will find some great information on making stuffing. It will show how to test the dressing and what to do if it isn't done but your turkey is at its proper temperature."
Renae
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"I am definitely going to try the oven bag method this year to cook my turkey. It will be great if it cuts an hour or so off the cooking time. I had a friend tell me that the turkey turns out really moist and tender also."
ReallyMom Really User
Reviewed By
"Does anyone know if you cook the stuffing in the turkey is there a certain temperature that the dressing needs to be? If the turkey is 175 - 180 degrees will the dressing be done at the same time?"
Savory User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Great chart. Helpful, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas."
MamaOf3
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Nice chart but I found the additional links to be the best part. Lots of good info."
HeyDude User
Reviewed By
"FancyFeeder, I got a fryer a few months ago and happen to find information on deep-frying a turkey on this site. Go to http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--1198/how-to-deepfry-a-whole-turkey.asp and you will find a bunch of great information on deep-frying a turkey. It was really helpful to me."
FancyFeeder User
Rating of 4 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Good chart for cooking a turkey in the oven or grilling. Wished there was some cooking times or info about deep-frying. I just bought a fryer and want to start using it."
CountryGirlAtHeart User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Wow! I didn't realize that cooking a turkey in an oven bag would cut down on the cooking time so much. I have never tried it but I am going to this year. I also heard that the meat is supposed to be so moist when the turkey is cooked in a bag. Can't wait to try it."
gigs User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"We were going to try grilling a small turkey this weekend but had no idea how long to cook it. Thanks for the turkey grilling times. That at least gives us an idea of how long it will need to cook."
Haley User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"This chart is great but I really thought the link to "Turkey Cooking Guide" was the most helpful to me."
RecipeTips.com User
Reviewed By
"Killermom, if you check out our Turkey Cooking Guide at http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t-36-/turkey-cooking-guide.asp you will find a lot of helpful information and tips on cooking a turkey."
killermom User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"Stuffed and unstuffed? I didn't know it made any difference in cooking time. Glad I saw this chart."
RTMember22 User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"I am adding this to my Favorites so I will have turkey cooking temperatures and cooking times for Thanksgiving. That way it will be handy when I need it."
CamiLea User
Rating of 5 out of 5.0 stars
Reviewed By
"We are having Thanksgiving at our house this year and I had never fixed a turkey. I wanted to make one this weekend just to practice but had no idea of what temperature to cook it at or what the cooking time should be. This chart gave me both the cooking temperature and time. My turkey turned out great. At least I feel like I know what I am doing now."
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