The Sum Of All Turkey Knowledge — Right Here If you want to get all fancy with your turkey - brining, butterflying, deep frying — go for it. But for a lot of people, simple roasted turkey really does the trick. Also, they may have a few hundred other things to worry about on Christmas day, so just throwing the bird in the oven and letting it go with minimal intervention, is an attractive proposition that doesn’t preclude a beautiful bird on the festive table. In pursuit of the most worry-free roast turkey, I’ve cross-referenced a number of classic all-purpose cookbooks (Joy of Cooking, Fanny Farmer, Canadian Living, Julia Child, The New Basics) and distilled them into the following turkey summary. All turkey cooking times are approximate. Your best bet is an accurate meat thermometer. When inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone, a reading of 180° F (82° C) will ensure your turkey is done. With or without a thermometer, estimate 13 to 15 minutes per pound with the oven pre-heated to 325°. When cooking turkey in the traditional breast side up manner, the breast may become dry. If the breast appears to be cooking too quickly, cover with foil. Ideal breast temperature is 165°. For stuffed birds allow for an extra 20 to 30 minutes in total cooking time. Bread stuffing must reach 160° F. All turkeys will benefit from a 30-minute rest before carving. Turned turkeys, where the breast is not continuously exposed to the refracted heat of the oven’s roof are a good way to promote even cooking. Consult cookbooks or on-line sources. Happy feasting!
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