11/25/2015 09:27 pm ET Updated Nov 22, 2017

How Long To Cook A Turkey Per Pound

Stop wondering and get the answers.

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, calculations to make for how long to cook a turkey per pound ― and oh, you might want to take a shower and eat lunch at some point?

Once you have a meat thermometer, knowing the weight of your turkey will be your secret weapon. If 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 stuffing into account (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.)

  • 1 Turkey Temperature
    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."
  • 2 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.
  • 3 How Long To Cook A Turkey -- Basic Roasting
    This table from the USDA is based on a 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.
  • 4 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

  • 5 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

  • 6 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."
  • 7 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.