Roasting a Turkey

The Christmas season is among us, and it got me wondering why I did not post a chart sooner.  Any of you have concerns with cooking a bird to doneness?  I found this handy chart on www.turkeyfarmersofcanada.ca.  And I agree, any chart is a good guide, as oven types and other factors must be taken into consideration.  Some of you may prefer to brown each side first (400F), then turning down to 325F.  I have no preference.  It really depends on the size of the bird.  And browning can be done either at the beginning of the process or at the tail end.  I typically roast at 350F and calculate time by roasting @ 22 minutes/lb.  For example, my largest turkey was about 26 lbs., thus 26 x 22 minutes, etc.  If browning, some guesstimation is required.  Once I’ve figured out how long my turkey will be in the oven, I ensure to check for doneness during the last 45 minutes.  I’ve heard that doneness can range from 160F-170F.

Whole Bird

Turkey Farmers of Canada recommends cooking a whole turkey to an internal temperature of 170°F (77°C) in the breast and 180°F (82°C) in the thigh.

When roasting, any stuffing placed in the cavity of the bird should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).

Let the bird stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

This turkey roasting chart is approximate, at an oven temperature of 325F (160C) , OR barbecuing at medium heat.  ALWAYS have a meat thermometer on hand.

Roasting Times Barbeque Times
Medium Heat
Weight Stuffed Unstuffed Unstuffed
6 – 8 lbs
(3.0 – 3.5 kg)
3 – 3 ¼ hours 2 ½ – 2 ¾ hours 1 – 1 ¾ hours
8 – 10 lbs
(3.5 – 4.5 kg)
3 ¼ – 3 ½ hours 2 ¾ – 3 hours 1 ¼ – 2 hours
10 – 12 lbs
(4.5 – 5.5 kg)
3 ½ – 3 ¾ hours 3 – 3 ¼ hours 1 ½ – 2 ¼ hours
12 – 16 lbs
(5.5 – 7.0 kg)
3 ¾ – 4 hours 3 ¼ – 3 ½ hours 2 – 2 ¾ hours
16 – 20 lbs
(7.0 – 9.0 kg)
4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours 3 ¾ – 4 ½ hours 2 ½ – 3 ¼ hours
20 – 24 lbs
(9.0 – 10.9 kg)
4 ¾ – 5 ½ hours 4 – 5 hours 3 ¾ – 4 ½ hours
Cooking times may vary depending on:  the temperature of the bird going into the oven, the accuracy of the oven’s thermostat, how many times the oven door is opened during roasting, the size of the turkey in relation to the size of the oven.
The debate continues …… when roasting, breast up or breast down?

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This entry was posted by Lillian on Thursday, December 26th, 2013 at 3:31 pm and is filed under Kitchen Know-How. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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