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How to Roast a Turkey

To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone.

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.


2. Remove neck and giblets from the neck and body cavity. Rinse whole bird with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub inside cavity and outside of turkey lightly with salt.


3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush skin with cooking oil and season. Cover the top of the turkey with foil, leaving an air space between turkey and foil.


4. Roast about 20 minutes per pound if 8 to 10 pounds or 14 to 16 minutes per pound for larger turkeys (see the chart). Remove foil from turkey during last 1 hour of roasting time.


5. To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone, or use a quick-read meat thermometer toward the end of the cooking time.


6. Remove from oven when meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F in the thigh, or when turkey drumsticks move easily in their sockets and juices from the thigh run clear. If the turkey is stuffed, make sure stuffing reaches 165 degrees F.


7. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.


 

Timetable for roasting turkey at 325 degrees F*

8 to 12 pounds       2 3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds     3 to 3 3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds     3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds     4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds     4 1/2 to 5 hours

*Add 15 to 30 minutes to these times when roasting a stuffed turkey.


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