Turkey Roasting Time Calculator
How long it takes to roast a turkey to a safe temperature depends on the weight of the bird. A safe internal temperature is 180°F (82°C) for the meat and 165°F (74°C) for the stuffing. The heavier the turkey, the longer it takes to cook it to a safe temperature.
By estimating how long you need to roast a turkey in the oven, you can better plan the preparation of your holiday dinner. The calculator below is calibrated to a conventional oven set to 325°F (163°C).
This calculator outputs cooking times based on turkey roasting tables from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, 10th Edition.
What is a good rule of thumb for roasting times per pound of turkey meat?As you may have noticed using the calculator above, the time it takes to roast a turkey is not directly proportional to the weight of the bird. For example, it takes 3 hours to cook a 10-pound unstuffed turkey. You might expect that a 20-pound unstuffed turkey takes twice as long to cook (6 hours), but in fact it only requires 4 and 1/2 hours in the oven. There is no fixed rule such as "x minutes per pound."
Even though the size of the turkey may have doubled from 10 pounds to 20 pounds, the surface area has also increased by a factor of 22/3 = 1.5874. Having more surface area decreases the amount of time required to cook something. Also, the distance from the skin to the center of the bird has only increased by a factor of 21/3 = 1.2599, not by a factor of 2. The accumulated effect of all these factors (weight, surface area, distance to center) is that the cooking time is less than doubled whenever the weight of the turkey is doubled.
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