Huffpost Taste

How Long To Cook A Turkey Per Pound

Posted: Updated:
Flickr: Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale
Flickr: Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale

Despite all of our best attempts, no one we know has ever cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner stress-free. We understand why. There are a lot of sides to juggle, oven times to consider, figuring out how long to cook a turkey per pound -- and oh, you might want to take a shower and eat lunch at some point?

Along with a meat thermometer, knowing the weight of your turkey will be your secret weapon. Once you know how much your turkey weighs, you'll know roughly how long to cook it -- whether you're roasting, grilling or deep-frying. We've taken into account the stuffing (if you choose to stuff your bird), and even given some consideration to those who forgot it was Thanksgiving and need to cook a frozen turkey (we know you're out there.)

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

  • Turkey Termperature
    Flickr: USDAgov
    The best way to know when your turkey is done, is by its temperature. The USDA says a 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."
    Photo via Flickr user USDAgov
  • Don't Trust The Pop-Up
    Wikimedia: Patrick Fitzgerald
    "If your turkey has a "pop-up" temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety." -- USDA
  • How Long To Cook A Turkey -- Basic Roasting
    This table from the USDA is based on 325 °F oven, and a fully defrosted or fresh bird. (For an unstuffed bird, we're talking roughly 15 minutes per pound.)

    If you want to cook a frozen turkey, it will take at least 50 percent longer than the recommended times.
  • How Long To Cook A Turkey -- Convection Oven
    Flickr: eagleapex
    Your turkey will cook faster in a 325 °F convection oven.

    8lbs: 1.25 hours
    12 lbs: 1.75 hours
    14 lbs: 2 hours
    18 lbs: 3 hours
    20 lbs: 4 hours
    24 lbs: 4.25 hours

    Photo via Flickr user eagleapex
  • How Long To Cook A Turkey -- On The Grill
    Flickr: BrownGuacamole
    Timing on a grilled turkey is tricky since every grill is vastly different, but here's a rough guide based on weight. 8 lbs: 90 mins 12 lbs: 135 mins 14 lbs: 180 mins 18 lbs: 210 mins 20 lbs: 225 mins

    Photo via Flickr user BrownGuacamole
  • How Long To Cook A Turkey: Deep Frying
    According to "A deep fried turkey takes about 3 to 5 minutes per pound when cooked in 350 degree F oil."
  • Let Your Turkey Rest!
    Flickr: Muffet
    See how the turkey is shoved off to the side, getting ignored? Do this. For at least 30 minutes. The juices need time to re-absorb into the meat -- which will make it taste way better and also make carving the bird much easier.

    Seriously, you can reheat it later or pour hot gravy over it. Let. It. Rest.

    Photo via Flickr user Muffet

Around the Web

Let's Talk Turkey

How Long to Cook a Turkey

Turkey Roasting Times Chart - Home Cooking

How to Calculate How Long to Cook a Turkey |

How Long Should I Cook My Turkey? -

Butterball - Calculators and Conversions

Turkey Cooking Time Guide Article -