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How to Cook a Turkey

How to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving or Any Occasion

Need step-by-step instructions for roasting a delicious turkey?

This traditional recipe came from my own New England grandmother, who always prepared enough food for a colonial army. The Pilgrims would have been proud to offer this feast!

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"Thanksgiving Turkey - Step-by-Step"
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Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(from "Let's Talk Turkey - published by the USDA)

Use the timetables below to determine how long to cook your turkey (at 325 degrees - F). These times are approximate. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing.
Unstuffed Turkey
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours
Stuffed Turkey
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours

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