How Long To Roast A Turkey (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2.5 to 6.5 hours

Turkey is a savory, delicious centerpiece at Thanksgiving. But for a turkey, even the white meat can be delicious if you know how to roast it properly. It is a popular poultry dish in North America that is consumed as a part of a culturally significant event such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as in any standard cuisine.

Someone might be an experienced turkey roaster broiled by the newest trends of the year, whether it’s dry-brining or spatchcocking, which is difficult to keep up. Also, a newbie preparing a turkey for the first time can always rely on several guiding sources. There is no need for a fancy recipe if one can stick to the basics.

How Long To Roast A Turkey

How Long To Roast A Turkey?

Serving | WeightDuration of 325 Degrees Fahrenheit Oven Temperature
Unstuffed; Stuffed
2 to 4 Serving; 6 to 8 lbs2.5 to 3 hours; 3 to 3.5 hours
4 to 6 Serving; 8 to 12 lbs3 to 4 hours; 3.5 to 4 hours
6 to 8 Serving; 12 to 16 lbs4 to 5 hours; 4.5 to 5.5 hours
8 to 10 Serving; 16 to 20 lbs5 to 5.5 hours; 5.5 to 6 hours
10 to 12 Serving; 20 to 24 lbs5.5 to 6 hours; 6 to 6.5 hours

One of the most convenient ways to look out for the roasting time is to calculate thirteen minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey is 3 hours, and 3.5 hours for a stuffed turkey. Check the temperature about three-fouth of the way for the time, and then again after every 10 minutes, and roast until the temperature shows 165°F or 150°F as the case might be, when inspected at the thickest part of the thigh and of the breast.

To eliminate the bacteria, turkeys should be cooked to an interior temperature of 165°F. According to food experts, the bird must reach that temperature before taking it out of the oven. As it rests, the temperature will later proceed to rise until about 180°F. For the meat to be juicier, some people prefer to bring the bird out of the oven at 150°F. Hence the temperature will rise only to 165°F as it rests.

Regardless of the turkey roasting temperature chosen, one must use a meat thermometer to confirm the final temperature. Previously, people used to look at the vividness of the meat as a sign of doneness: Piercing the turkey with a knife, and if the juices were clear instead of a pinkish color, it’s done cooking. However, this is not a secure method for various reasons.

First, pinkness might disappear before it reaches a safe temperature. On the other side, some turkeys might not lose their pink color at all, even if it’s cooked to well above 165°F.

Why Would It Take That Long To Roast A Turkey?

Oven cooking times alter a lot, so it’s a must to use a meat thermometer to measure the doneness. It does not include the pop-up timer that comes in the turkey. Instant-read thermometers are used, placed in the turkey, in the thickest part of the thigh every once in a while, and then removed. For checking the cooking process, an ovenproof thermometer is inserted into the bird before it goes into the oven and left there while the turkey is cooking.

There are also probe thermometers that allow seeing the inside temperature on a monitor without opening the oven. No matter what type of thermometer one uses, they should start monitoring the temperature 1/2 hour to 1 hour before the turkey should be done and then every 15 minutes later after that. Look for a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the general rule for cooking a big bird is about twenty minutes per lbs. But these cooking times differ, depending on whether someone begins with a stuffed turkey to the unstuffed one. A stuffed turkey will take up to thirty minutes more than an unstuffed one. Also, checking the temperature of the turkey, one needs to check the temperature of the dressing too.

The core of the stuffing inside the bird or maybe in a separate baking dish needs to reach a temperature of 165 F for the food to be safe. As for an unstuffed turkey, place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, ensuring that it does not reach any bone. Finally, roast the turkey until the meat thermometer reaches 165 F.


In addition to the preparation tips for crispy skin, there are a few other things one might want to have ready to achieve the perfect roasted turkey. The correct size of the roasting pan with a heavy construction is perfect to bear the weight of the bird, as well as a roasting stand. An instant-read thermometer is crucial.

One must decide before time whether they are using any herb with butter under and on top of the skin, stuffing the cavity with aromatics, or sprinkling a flavorful rub over the whole bird. One might need all the ingredients arranged before the turkey is ready to go in the oven.

Because of the variability of cooking duration, it’s always more reliable to cook stuffing outside of the bird, but if you are going to stuff it in, check the temperature of the dressing before serving, and don’t be afraid to microwave it to make sure the temperature is right.


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