Roasting Your Local Turkey

Allow one pound of turkey per person.

• Set your oven temperature no lower than 325° F.

• Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

• For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole dish. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F.

• If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165° F.

• A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

• Turkey breasts should be cooked to 165° F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast.

• For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

For info on other methods for cooking a turkey, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or visit www.fsis.usda.gov

ROASTING TIMETABLES @ 325°F

UNSTUFFED

4-8 pounds (parts)  1.5 – 3.25 hours
8-12 pounds  2.75-3 hours
12-14 pounds  3-3.75 hours
14-18 pounds  3.75-4.25 hours
18-20 pounds 4.25-4.5 hours
20-24 pounds 4.25-5 hours

STUFFED

8-12 pounds 3-3.5 hours
12-14 pounds  3.5-4 hours
14-18 pounds 4-4.25 hours
18-20 pounds 4.25-4.75 hours
20-24 pounds 4.75-5.25 hours

It is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking time will take at least 50 percent longer than recommended for a fully thawed turkey. Be sure to cook to an internal temperature of 165° F. Just remember to remove the giblets from their packages before roasting.

THAWING YOUR TURKEY

IN THE REFRIGERATOR (40°F or below)

4-8 pounds (parts)  1.5 – 3.25 hours
12-16 pounds 3–4 days
16-20 pounds 4–5 days
20-24 pounds 5–6 days

 

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for one to two days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.*

IN COLD WATER

4-12 pounds 2–6 hours
12-16 pounds 6–8 hours
16-20 pounds 8–10 hours
20-24 pounds 10–12 hours

 

Wrap your turkey securely, or leave in the original packaging, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes, Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.*

Do not freeze.

* Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.