Work Out Your Turkey Roasting Times Quickly and Easily

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Perfect Roast Turkey. Edward ONeil Photography Inc. - Getty Images

It is so important when preparing and cooking your turkey, whether for Thanksgiving, Christmas or for your Sunday lunch, that you cook the turkey precisely, and safely. To ensure you are cooking the turkey correctly, take a few moments to calculate how long it will take, and this is usually determined by the weight of the bird, and whether you are stuffing or not.

First you need to know the weight of your turkey, and decide whether you will be using stuffing.

For safety and to ensure your turkey is coked right through, never place stuffing in the cavity, the stuffing will not cook and neither will the cavity -  a dangerous move. Stuffing shoud be placed between the breast and the skin. Or, simply cook the stuffing seperately.

Once you know the weight and stuffed or unstuffed use the relevant table to below to ascertain the cooking times.

The first stage of cooking, the temperature is higher for the first 30 minutes. This is then reduced for the major part of cooking. Lowering the temperature and cooking more gently means the heat can permeate through the bird whilst keeping it moist. Teh final 30 minutes, the temperature is raised to finish the cookig, and importantly, to crisp up the skin.

Finally. Do not forget to rest the turkey before carving. I would allow an hour if you can. Cover the turkey with foil and a tea towel and leave in the kitchen while you make the gravy.

Turkey Cooking Times for Stuffed Turkey

Oven Ready SizeStarting TemperatureRoasting TemperatureBrowning Temperature
   425° F/ 220° C/ Gas 7  325° F/ 160° C/ Gas 3  425° F/ 220° C/ Gas 7
8 - 11lb / 5-5 kg  30 mins  2 1/2 - 3 hours  about 30 mins
12 - 14lb /  5.4 kg  40 mins  3 - 3 1/2 hours  about 30 mins
15 - 20lb / 6.75 - 9kg  40 mins  3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours  about 30 mins
    

 

Turkey Cooking Times for Unstuffed Turkey

Oven Ready SizeStarting TemperatureRoasting TemperatureBrowning Temperature
  425° F/ 220° C/ Gas 7 325° F/ 160° C/ Gas 3 425° F/ 220° C/ Gas 7
8 - 11lb / 5-5 kg  30 mins 2 1/4 - 2 3/4 hours about 30 mins
12 - 14lb /  5.4 kg  40 mins 2-3/4 - 3 1/4 hours about 30 mins
15 - 20lb / 6.75 - 9kg  40 mins 3 1/4 - 4 1/4 hours about 30 mins