How Long To Cook A 20 Lbs Turkey (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 hours 30 minutes

There are millions of living beings in the world, and some people think killing animals and birds for using them as ingredients in recipes is cruel. On the other hand, it balances the food chain and makes sure the ecosystem is well balanced. Many animals are being killed for their valuables and some of them also provide meat, which can be used for cooking.

Hundreds of recipes are being created all over the world every day using meat obtained from birds and animals. Some birds are native to certain countries and some of them are very popular all around the world. Some dishes can take hours to make, while some can be made in just a few minutes.

One flavourful dish that is worth making even though it takes a while to cook is the turkey. Turkeys come in various sizes and it normally takes about 3 to 4 hours to cook a 20lb turkey.

How Long To Cook A 20 Lbs Turkey?

WeightTime
8 to 12 lbs2 hours 45 minutes
15 to 20 lbs3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
25 lbs4 hours

Turkey is one of the birds that is a rich source of protein, minerals, vitamins, and many more essential nutrients. Many countries cook turkey, but America is one of the countries that are very popular for its turkey dishes. America cooks the turkey, especially on Thanksgiving day and they spend time with their family on this special occasion. The perfect Thanksgiving dinner always requires the turkey as the centerpiece. Along with that, many side dishes and desserts can be also enjoyed.

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When perfectly cooked, the turkey along with the glaze on top becomes a golden brown dish that everybody enjoys. A turkey is practically one of the dishes that certainly have leftovers. Hence, the turkey is kept in freezers and refrigerators. People always have questions about how to cook turkeys, how much they should be cooked, at what temperature they should be cooked, and how to store them.

One must make sure turkey should not get overcooked o undercooked and the skin should not go dry. There are many things that one should follow to cook a turkey perfectly. There are multiple ways to cook a turkey, like baking, roasting, and deep-frying. Preheating the oven, seasoning, and adding flavorings to the dish must be very important.

Why Does It Take That Long To Cook A 20 Lbs Turkey?

According to USDA, the lowest temperature to cook a turkey is 325 Fahrenheit, and any temperature below that will not cook the turkey properly. When the turkey is stuffed, it will take about 4 hours to cook the turkey, but if it is not stuffed, it will take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to cook the turkey. The time of cooking can differ based on the temperature and the weight of the turkey. As the temperature increases, the cooking time will decrease.

When the turkey is about 8 to 12 lbs, it will take about 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours, and if it is 15 to 20 lbs, it will take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to cook the turkey. When it weighs more, it can take about 4 to 5 hours to cook the turkey. The internal temperature must be at least 165 Fahrenheit for the turkey to be fully cooked. The internal temperature can be checked using a meat thermometer. The darker part of turkey must be cooked longer and the time of baking can range from 1 hour to 6 hours.

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Conclusion

After cooking the turkey, the right flavorings and seasonings must be added. Sometimes, some seasonings and flavorings are added before baking and roasting because this can get the juices of the turkey to mix well with the flavors. The turkey must also be well cut and glaze should be applied since it adds to the taste. After everybody is done eating, there will be times when there are leftovers and there are ways to store the turkey by freezing it.

When one wants to eat the turkey, they can reheat the turkey and if the turkey is raw, it can be thawed. It can take about a day to thaw about 4 pounds of turkey and it can take about 6 days to thaw 24 pounds of turkey.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032579119539876
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-4573.2007.00074.x
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