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Turkey Tips


Three Ways To Save:

  • Buy your turkey in advance when it is on sale and freeze it until the big day. Fresh turkeys are usually more expensive.
  • Only buy the size you need. Allow about ¾ pound per person (one pound if you want leftovers).
  • For smaller groups, have your butcher cut a fresh turkey in half and freeze half for another occasion. Turkeys last up to 12 months in the freezer.

Three Ways To Thaw:

  • In the Refrigerator. It takes about 24 hours for every four pounds of frozen turkey.
  • In Cold Water. It takes about 30 minutes per pound of frozen turkey. Do not use warm or hot water and change the water every half hour.
  • In the Microwave. Your microwave manual should give you instructions for thawing a frozen turkey. Always cook the turkey immediately.

Three Ways To Cook:

  • Roasting. A turkey is best roasted uncovered at 325 degrees F. For roasting times, see turkey cooking chart below. Test turkey with meat thermometer to assure it is done. Thermometer should read 180 degrees F. when inserted into the thigh or 170 degrees F. when inserted into the breast.
  • Frying. Preheat oil to 365 – 375 degrees F. for frying. Fry whole turkey for about 3 minutes per pound. Test turkey with meat thermometer to assure it is done. Thermometer should read 180 degrees F. when inserted into the thigh or 170 degrees F. when inserted into the breast.
  • Slow-Cooking. Cook turkey in slow-cooker on high for 6 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours. Test turkey with meat thermometer to assure it is done. Thermometer should read 180 degrees F. when inserted into the thigh or 170 degrees F. when inserted into the breast.

Roasting Times(unstuffed):
8 to 12 pound turkey allow 2 ¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pound turkey allow 3 to 3 ¾ hours
14 to 18 pound turkey allow 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ hours
18 to 20 pound turkey allow 4 ¼ to 4 ½ hours
For stuffing allow about ¼ to ½ hour more. Stuffing should reach a temperature of at least 160 degrees F.

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