posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 06:55 PM
Quick reference chart.....
Slow, steady cooking works best, keeping in mind that the lower the temperature, the longer the cooking. Good results can be had by roasting at 300
degrees Fahrenheit, but you can also achieve excellent results at 325 F. The rule of thumb is to select a lower temperature if you allow sufficient
time in advance. Once the temperature of the bird reaches 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit, you can increase the oven temperature to 400 F for a brief time
for browning. At this point the turkey will finish cooking rapidly so if you add this browning step it's important to pay close attention and
constantly monitor the bird's internal temperature.
A perfectly cooked bird requires the use of a thermometer, preferably, an instant-read thermometer. If you rely on the pop-up timer, the white meat
will be overcooked and dry. For perfect white meat, which cooks at a lower temperature than does the dark meat portion of the bird, a compromise must
be reached. You should determine which portion is preferred and plan to favor either the white meat or dark meat, temperature-wise. The best
temperature to remove the turkey for perfectly cooked white meat is 155-160 degrees breast temperature. Be certain that the thermometer does not
touch bone or the results will be inaccurate.
Allow the turkey to sit an additional 20 minutes with the oven door open and it will be done to a perfect 160-165 degrees. For perfectly cooked dark
meat, add an additional 10 degrees, but you will be slightly sacrificing the quality of the white meat. At 180 degrees, the white meat will be
The following chart is for whole turkey cooked at an oven temperature of 325 degrees. Allow slightly longer times for turkeys which are cooked in a
slower oven, and conversely less time for a higher temperature oven. If you have a convection oven, cut time by as much as 1/3 or consult
Whole Turkey Oven Temperature Cooking Time (hours) Temp when cooked
4-8 pounds 325 degrees F 2 - 3 hours 160 - 170
8-12 pounds 325 degrees F 3 - 4 hours 160 - 170
12 - 16 pounds 325 degrees F 4 - 5 hours 160 - 170
16 - 20 pounds 325 degrees F 5 - 6 hours 160 - 170
20 - 24 pounds 325 degrees F 6 - 7 hours 160 - 170