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Roast Turkey Cooking Guidelines

These guidelines will help you decide how much turkey to buy for the amount of people you have. Also explains how to defrost a turkey, and how long to roast it.


1 Turkey


You will need about 1/2 lb. of turkey per serving.

A 20 lb. turkey will take about 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator, or about 12 hours using the cold water thaw method:

Make sure all surfaces, pots, bowls, etc. are thoroughly cleaned.
Place turkey in a bowl or pan large enough to cover turkey with cold water.  Empty and add fresh cold water every 30 minutes until thawed and remove giblets.

Roast time:

6-8 lbs. 2 3/4 to 3 1/2 hours
8-12 lbs. 3 1/4 to 4 hours
12-16 lbs. 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours
16-20 lbs. 4 to 6 hours
20-26 lbs. 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours


Add 25 minutes cooking time for birds under 12 lbs.

Turkey Recipes



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