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Turkey Cooking Time Per Pound

Turkey Cooking Time Per Pound
If you are cooking turkey, then you should be aware of the exact cooking time needed to cook per pound of it. This will ensure that the meat is not under or over cooked. Along with turkey cooking time per pound, it is also a good idea to make use of a meat thermometer to know if it is cooked to perfection.
Bhakti Satalkar
Thanksgiving and/or Christmas cannot be imagined without turkey. As a matter of fact, there are a number of thanksgiving recipes, which have turkey as the main ingredient. It is one of the traditional dishes used for these festivals in a number of parts of the world. One can cook turkey using different methods. One can opt to grill it, bake it, roast it, smoke it, or deep frying it. Whatever be the method, you would want to opt for, it is important that you serve moist and tender turkey meat. More often than not, in most cases the meat becomes very dry and people do not enjoy it as much. It is therefore necessary to know the cooking time precisely. In this write up, we will read about its cooking times and temperatures.
How Long to Cook a Turkey
Although turkey cooking time per pound is important, there is one step which will ensure that you have a moist and well-flavored turkey recipe for lunch or dinner. Brining it will help to infuse flavor and will also be of help in the bird retaining moisture. There are certain variables, which need to be considered, when one has to know the exact turkey cooking times per pound. The variables include size of the turkey, weight, cooking temperature, and moisture content. There is a formula, which can be used to determine the turkey cooking time. Multiply its weight in pounds with 15. This will give you the number of minutes necessary to cook it. If you are going to stuff it, then you will have to add 20 minutes to the total cooking time.
With Stuffing
The table given below mentions the cooking time required, when the meat is cooked at 350ºF. To know if the meat is cooked, the internal temperature, at the thickest part should reach 165 to 170 degrees.
Turkey Weight Time Required
6 to 8 Pounds 2 ½ to 3 ½ Hours
8 to 12 Pounds 3 to 3 ½ Hours
12 to 14 Pounds 3 ½ to 4 Hours
14 to 18 Pounds 4 to 4 ¼ Hours
18 to 20 Pounds 4 ¼ to 4 ¾ Hours
20 to 24 Pounds 4 ¾ to 5 ¼ Hours
Without Stuffing
If you are not going to stuff turkey, then you may want to pour chicken or turkey broth, or stock around the turkey, when you are cooking it. This will ensure the meat is moist and soft. Now, let's turn to the important part of how to cook it, i.e. the exact cooking time required for cooking it.
Turkey Weight Time Required
4 to 8 Pounds 1 ½ to 3 ¼ Hours
8 to 12 Pounds 2 ¾ to 3 Hours
12 to 14 Pounds 3 to 3 ¾ Hours
14 to 18 Pounds 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ Hours
18 to 20 Pounds 4 ¼ to 4 ½ Hours
20 to 24 Pounds 4 ½ to 5 Hours
In Convection Oven
If you have a convection oven, then let us tell you that cooking turkey in it will not take a very long period of time. Naturally, an unstuffed one will take much lesser time compared to a stuffed one. Before we turn to the table, here's a tip if you are cooking turkey in a convection oven. Cover it with aluminum foil to avoid it from drying out.
Turkey Weight Time Required for Unstuffed Bird Time Required for Stuffed Bird
8 pounds 1 ¼ Hours 1 ½ Hours
12 pounds 1 ¾ Hours 2 Hours
14 pounds 2 Hours 2 ¼ Hours
18 pounds 3 Hours 3 ¼ Hours
20 pounds 4 Hours 4 ¼ Hours
24 pounds 4 ¼ Hours 4 ½ Hours
On a Grill
If you are fan of grilling, then you will want to know the amount of time required for cooking turkey on a grill. The timings given in the table should not be used to know whether the bird is grilled to perfection. You will have to constantly keep a watch on it. The table below mentions the time for the unstuffed bird. You will need to add 20 to 30 minutes to get the time required for stuffed bird.
Turkey Weight Time Required
8 pounds 1 ½ Hours
12 pounds 2 ¼ Hours
14 pounds 3 Hours
18 pounds 3 ½ Hours
20 pounds 3 ¾ Hours
24 pounds 4 ½ Hours

Before we end this write up, we would like to tell you that the cooking time for per pound is approximate, as a number of factors will also come into play. You can choose to deep-fry the turkey as well. The cooking times per pound then should be about 3 to 5 minutes per pound and the temperature of oil should be 350ºF.