How Long Do You Bake a Turkey?

It’s important to do things right when cooking a turkey, whether for Thanksgiving or a special family event. The cooking time and temperature are the keys to a tasty and juicy turkey. This Article will show you how to perfectly bake a turkey and answer the age-old question, “How long do you bake a turkey?”

How Much Turkey To Buy?

Depending on how much you like leftovers, One to One 1/2 pounds of turkey per person is a good rule of thumb. If you don’t want to make soup or sandwiches with the turkey, you only need 1 pound per person. If you think the extras will be almost as good as the main dish, choose 1 1/2 pounds per person.

How To Thaw Turkey?

Remember that a whole turkey can take several days to thaw, and the cooking times above are for a fully thawed bird. Once you put the turkey in the refrigerator, it will take 5 pounds of turkey 24 hours to thaw. But don’t worry if Thanksgiving morning comes and your turkey is frozen. 

How Long To Cook a Stuffed Turkey?

When a turkey is stuffed, it takes longer to cook than when it is not. At 350°F (175°C), cook a stuffed turkey for 15 minutes per pound. It’s important to check the stuffing’s temperature, which, when the thermometer is put in the middle, should be 165°F (75°C). You could get sick if you don’t monitor how hot or cold your stuffing is.

How Long It Takes To Roast a Turkey?

These timings assume a turkey is roasted at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Four to Eight Pounds: 1 1/2 to 3 1/4 Hours 
  • Eight-dozen Pounds: 2 3/4 to 3 Hours
  • Twelve to Fourteen Pounds: 3 to 3 3/4 Hours
  • fourteen to eighteen Pounds: 3 3/4 to 4 1/4  Hour
  • 1800 to 2000 Grams: 4 1/4 to 4 1/2  hours
  • Twenty to Twenty-Four Pounds: 4 1/2 to 5 Hours


  • 6 to 8 Pounds (Only Breast): 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Hours
  • Eight to Twelve Pounds: 3 to 3 1/2 an hour
  • Twelve to Fourteen Pounds: 31/2 to 4 Hours
  • fourteen to eighteen Pounds: 4 to 4 1/4 Hours
  • 18 to 20 Pound:4 1/4 to 4 3/4 Hours
  • Twenty to Twenty-Four Pounds: 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 Hours

Cooking a completely frozen turkey is safe, but it will require at least 50 percent more time than a thawed bird. If the turkey has been defrosted, take the giblet packet out of the turkey halfway through cooking in the largest part of the thigh, where the Instant-Read Thermometer should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How To Cook a Turkey?


Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes to 4 Hours


  • Includes one whole turkey, defrosted if frozen (12–16 pounds).
  • Two cups of chicken or veggie broth with low sodium, water, or another liquid.
  • Heat two sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter or oil (optional) for basting.


  • Roasting Pan (or a different kind of roasting dish)
  • Roasting Rack (or something to help get the turkey out of the pan)


  1. Prepare the Turkey for Roasting. Take the turkey from the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes before roasting it. Take off the packaging and the bag with the internal organs (check the body and neck openings). Put the turkey breast on a roasting rack in a cooking pan and let it sit while the oven heats up. Getting rid of the chill helps the meat cook more quickly and evenly. It also allows the skin’s outer layer to dry, allowing it to become brown and crunchy. 
  2. Set the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Put a rack in the bottom third of the oven, remove any racks above it, and heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Nothing else must be done if you bring your turkey like we did. Salt and pepper the turkey before putting it in the oven if it just came out of the package. We think it’s easier and better for the turkey to cook evenly if you don’t stuff or tie it up.
  3. Add Liquid to the Roasting Pan.  The pan for baking needs liquid. Pour the juice into the roasting pan when you are ready to roast.
  4. Lower the heat in the oven and put the turkey in there. Put the turkey in the oven and turn it down to 350° F. We recommend cooking it with the breast side up. Some people like to start the turkey breast side down to protect the breast meat, but we don’t think it would be fun to flip a hot, sputtering bird. Instead, if the breast meat gets too brown near the end of cooking, we just cover it with aluminum foil.
  5. Roast the Turkey. The general rule for cooking a turkey is that it takes 13 minutes per pound. We thought it would take three and a half hours to cook our 16-pound turkey. But cooking will go much faster if you bring the bird, cook it with an empty (not filled) body, and don’t tie the legs together. Plan to use the 13-Minute-Per-Pound RuleRule, but check the turkey’s temperature halfway through the time allowed to see how fast it is cooking.
  6. Baste the Turkey Every 45 Minutes.  Every 45 minutes, take the turkey out of the oven, close the door (don’t let the heat out! ), and bake it again until it’s done. If necessary, tilt the pan and use a turkey baster or spoon to scoop up and sprinkle the pan juices over the turkey. When you baste the turkey with pan juices, you cool the surface and slow the cooking so that the breast meat cooks at the same rate as the legs and thighs. In the last 45 minutes of cooking, you can put melted butter or oil on the turkey and bake it. This helps the skin get crisp and a beautiful golden brown color.
  7. Check the Turkey’s Temperature. When the expected cooking time is up, check the turkey’s temperature. Check the temperature at the Breast, the outside of the thigh, and the inside. The meat should always be at least 165°F when the turkey is done cooking. If any part of the turkey is cooler than that temperature, put it back in the oven for 20 minutes. Cover the chicken breast with aluminum foil if you need to to keep it from cooking too much.
  8. Rest the Turkey Before Carving. Take the turkey out of the oven. Grasp one side of the roasting rack with an oven mitt and rotate the entire pan so the turkey’s cavity liquid drains into the pan. (Gravy is made with these liquids.) Then, take the turkey off the rack and put it on a clean cutting board. Make a tent with the aluminum foil and let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes. This makes the meat firmer, and the juices go back into the muscle, making the turkey easier to cut and tastier.
  9. Carve the Turkey.  . First, cut off the Wings, then the Thighs, and then the Breast. Once the meat has been removed, you can separate the thighs into legs and drumsticks and cut the breast meat into individual slices.
  10. Don’t Forget About the Leftovers. The meat must be put in the fridge within two hours of being cooked. After that, the chance that something bad will grow in it increases exponentially. Watch out!
  11. Ways to Add Flavor to Your Turkey:  Rub your turkey with butter or oil for a richer flavor and darker skin. For more flavor, rub minced herbs or ground spices into (or under) the skin, and stuff the turkey’s cavity with a few cut lemons or garlic cloves.
  12. Storage: You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days in a container that keeps air out or freeze them for up to 2 months.

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