Want to cook the perfect turkey? Use this simple printable for all of the information on how long to cook a turkey!
How long to cook a turkey
The holidays are right around the corner and turkey is always the go to main meal in our family. Yours too? While I’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house, I’m not usually the one in charge of making the turkey.
In all my 20+ years of being married, I’ve never made one on my own. Crazy, right? It has always intimidated me a little bit. I did some research and found all of the cooking times, thawing times and how many people per pound of turkey. It’s all on one nice printable for you to use. This one goes along perfectly with my HOW MANY CUPS IN A QUART? printables. Use them for all of your holiday cooking!
How long to thaw a turkey
One of the most surprising things to me is that you have to thaw a turkey for a long time. I guess that seems obvious… but for a big turkey you have to thaw it for almost a week! If you’re hosting a large group for the holidays, make sure to account for that. The lighter it is, the less time you need to thaw.
Here is a rough guideline for you to use:
- 4-12 lbs: 1-3 days
- 12-16 lbs: 3-4 days
- 16-20 lbs: 4-5 days
- 20-24 lbs: 5-6 days
How long do you cook a turkey
Much like letting a turkey thaw, how long you need to cook a turkey depends on the size of it. Here are some more guidelines to go by:
- 9-11 lbs: 2 1/2 hours
- 12-14 lbs: 3 hours
- 15-17 lbs: 3 1/2 hours
- 18-20 lbs: 4 hours
- 21-23 lbs: 4 1/2 hours
- 24+ lbs: 5 hours
How to cook a turkey
There are about a million ways to cook a turkey. Over the years we’ve tried turkey in the oven, deep fried turkey, roasted turkey and more. We’re always open to trying new recipes and these recipes from my friends look so good! Try these out too:
- How to cook the perfect turkey by My Name is Snickerdoodle
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast from Your Homebased Mom
- Instant Pot Turkey and Gravy from Tatertots and Jello
—->> Download this printable Turkey Guide. For personal use only.
Other turkey recipes
If you love this how to long to cook a turkey printable, you’re going to love these other turkey recipes. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Kathleen Wilkins says
Can you please tell me at what temperature this is based on? Is the turkey uncovered or wrapped in foil? Wrapped in foil is easier because you don’t have to baste it constantly. Oh yeah. Third question is, are these times based on a stuffed turkey or not stuffed? Sorry if I missed that info somewhere. While I’m here, I’d like to ask you why I never see comments posted on this page. It’s fun to read them. Sometimes! Thanks Mique!
Hi Kathleen – you don’t see comments on here usually because unfortunately there are a lot of spam comments so all of them have to be approved. It takes some time to sort through all of them. I wish it wasn’t that way…
You are right to ask those questions. I will update the post. The general rule is that unstuffed is less time to cook. Those numbers are based on an unstuffed turkey in a 325 degree oven (or higher). It needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees to be safe.
And this is without tin foil. A lot of recipes I’ve seen suggest to add tin foil about 2/3 of the way in to cooking… but I added a few of the recipes that I like! Check them out.