How Many Hours to Cook a Turkey?

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If you are cooking a large turkey for Thanksgiving, you might be wondering how many hours to cook a turkey? The USDA suggests that a 20-pound bird should be cooked in the oven by 10 a.m., which means that it should be in the oven by 10:30 a.m. Using a meat thermometer is the safest way to determine whether the turkey is done. A temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the safest way to tell when a turkey is done.

15 minutes per pound

When cooking a turkey, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure your turkey is thawed before cooking. If you’re using frozen turkey, it should be brined before cooking. Then, you should check its internal temperature to see if it’s done. If it’s not, you may need to cook it a few more minutes. To determine the perfect cooking time, use a meat thermometer.

To check the internal temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the thigh area. Generally, you should cook turkey breasts to 165 degrees F, and thighs and legs should be cooked to 170 degrees F. When roasting a turkey, keep in mind that the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise after the bird is removed from the oven. If you’re unsure about the internal temperature, check the turkey before it reaches the recommended temperature. The breast meat will begin to dry out if the temperature gets too high, while the thigh meat will hold up well to higher temperatures.


If you’re baking a turkey, it’s best to start it at least 24 hours before you intend to cook it. Using a refrigerator will help keep the meat moist. A salt brine can help your turkey reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you don’t have a refrigerator, you can use warm water. Then, you can remove the brine and place the turkey on a baking sheet.

Once the turkey is cooked, you can carve it into portions. To carve the turkey, first separate the drumsticks and thighs. After removing the drumsticks, you can carve the breasts. Remember to refrigerate any leftover turkey within two hours. A good way to keep turkey leftovers is to refrigerate them immediately after cooking. Once they have cooled down, they can be wrapped in aluminum foil.


The USDA recommends a safe internal temperature for cooked turkey of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is safe for most poultry species and will kill most harmful pathogens, eliminating the potential for food poisoning. However, the safe internal temperature for turkey will vary depending on breed, cooking time, and other factors. Turkeys should be cooked to 165 degrees in the thigh or breast, depending on the recipe.

It used to be that home cooks would simply look at the color of the meat to gauge when it was done. This method, however, isn’t very accurate. For one, the pinkness in turkey meat can vanish before the safe temperature is reached. Furthermore, it isn’t uncommon for some turkeys to never lose the pink color altogether. Because of this, it is important to use a food thermometer for accuracy.

Covering with aluminum foil

First, make sure that you have a large enough sheet of aluminum foil. Place the turkey breast in the middle. Wrap the foil lengthwise, and make sure to leave some overhang on all sides. Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, and insert it through the foil. Put the turkey breast in the roasting pan and cover the entire bird with aluminum foil, from sides up. Roast the turkey for approximately two to three hours.

You can cover the turkey with aluminum foil for the last hour or so of cooking. Once it is done, you can remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. The foil will help the meat rest and the juices to redistribute. This will make carving easier. Once it has rested, you can uncover it and remove the foil. Once the turkey is done, it should be rested for about 20 to thirty minutes before carving.

Checking for doneness

The best way to ensure a fully cooked turkey is to use a meat thermometer. Place it into the thickest part of the breast or thigh and insert the probe. If it registers at least 160 degrees, the bird is done. If it is not done, continue cooking it until it reaches the desired internal temperature. Using a meat thermometer is easy and inexpensive. You can purchase one online or at a local grocery store.

For an accurate reading, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone. Give it a minute to settle. The internal temperature of a turkey should be at least 170 degF for it to be fully cooked. Be sure not to place the thermometer on the bone, as it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the heat source.

Resting time

When preparing a Thanksgiving meal, it is very important to know the proper resting time for turkey. This period is especially important for whole poultry and large cuts of meat. While a roasted turkey should rest for about 45 minutes after cooking, smaller pieces and parts may need as little as 15 minutes or less. Here are some guidelines to remember when resting a turkey. This time is crucial for ensuring that your turkey is as tender and juicy as possible.

It’s important to let your turkey rest after cooking so that it retains its full flavor. If you cut into the turkey immediately after it’s been removed from the oven, the juices will spill onto your cutting board. Resting time is also necessary for the turkey’s fibers to reabsorb moisture and maximize the flavor. While this time is critical for the flavor of your Thanksgiving feast, it’s also very important for safety.

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