How to Roast a Turkey

Roasting a turkey in the oven is a classic technique for a first-time cook or a seasoned pro:

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Turkey roasting cook-time varies by weight, so check out our handy turkey cooking calculator to help you plan. Don’t forget the foil tent when you’re ⅔ of the way through cooking to prevent dryness!

How to Roast Fresh or Frozen Whole Turkeys

Roasting a whole turkey is easier than you think. Just follow these simple instructions for a fresh or thawed turkey:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels.
  2. Place turkey breast-side-up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep.
  3. Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. (Tucking the wings will help stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving) Brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
  4. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh without touching the bone. If the turkey is stuffed, and the thigh is up to temperature, move the thermometer to the center of the stuffing.
  5. Place your turkey in the oven.
  6. When the turkey is about ⅔ done, loosely cover the breast with a piece of foil to prevent overcooking.
  7. Your turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer is 180° F in thigh and 170° F in breast or stuffing.
  8. Lift turkey onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Cooking Times

Regular Oven 325°

Weight Cook Time (Unstuffed) Cook Time (Stuffed)

6-7 lbs.

2-2½ hrs.

2¼-2¾ hrs.

7-10 lbs.

2½-3 hrs.

2¾-3½ hrs.

10-18 lbs.

3-3½ hrs.

3¾-4½ hrs.

18-22 lbs.

3½-4 hrs.

4½-5 hrs.

22-24 lbs.

4-4½ hrs.

5-5½ hrs.

24-30 lbs.

4½-5 hrs.

5½-6¼ hrs.

 

 

Convection Oven 325°

Weight Cook Time (Unstuffed) Cook Time (Stuffed)

6-10 lbs.

1½ -2 hrs.

1¾-2½ hrs.

10-18 lbs.

2-2½ hrs.

2½-3¼ hrs.

18-22 lbs.

2½-3 hrs.

3¼-3¾ hrs.

22-24 lbs.

3-3½ hrs.

3¾-4¼ hrs.

How to Roast Fully Cooked Whole Turkeys

Fully cooked turkeys are an easy way to get a great tasting turkey on the table in less time. Follow these special directions for a delicious meal:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove wrapper.
  2. Place thawed turkey, breast side up, on flat rack in shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep. DO NOT stuff.
  3. Brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
  4. Insert oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the thigh without touching the bone.
  5. Begin checking the turkey for doneness about 30 minutes before the recommended cook time.
  6. Your turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches 140°F in thigh.
  7. Carve and serve immediately.

Cooking Times

Regular Oven 350°

Weight Cook Time Baked (Thawed) Cook Time Smoked (Thawed)

8-10 lbs.

¾-1½ hrs.

¾-1½ hrs.

10-14 lbs.

1-1½ hrs.

1-1½ hrs.

14-18 lbs.

1½-2 hrs.

1½-2 hrs.

How to Roast Whole Turkey Breasts

Turkey breasts cook up tender and delicious, and are easy to roast when you follow these instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Remove whole breast from bag. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels.
  3. Place breast, skin side up, on a flat roasting rack in a 2-inch deep roasting pan. Do not add water to pan. If you don’t have a roasting rack, crunch aluminum foil into a coil or use vegetables like carrots to keep your turkey off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
  5. Roast uncovered according to Cooking Schedule or until meat thermometer in thickest part of breast reaches 170° F. If breast is stuffed, center of stuffing should be 165° F.
  6. Roasting time will vary if turkey is covered or placed in an oven-cooking bag.
  7. Before you remove the stuffing and carve, let your turkey breast stand for 15 minutes to allow the juices to set.

You can roast a frozen turkey breast too. Just follow these steps:

  1. Roast skin side down, uncovered, on a flat rack in a 2-inch deep open roasting pan at 325° F for the first hour.
  2. Remove from oven and carefully remove gravy packet and refrigerate packet for future use.
  3. Turn breast skin side up, and brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance. Return to oven.
  4. Roast uncovered according to Cooking Schedule or until meat thermometer in thickest part of breast reaches 170° F. If breast is stuffed, center of stuffing should be 165° F.
  5. Let breast stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Cooking Times

Regular Oven 325°

Weight

Cook Time (Unstuffed)

Cook Time (Stuffed)

3-5½ lbs.

1½-2¼ hrs.

2-2¾ hrs.

5½-9 lbs.

2¼-2¾ hrs.

2¾-3¼ hrs.

Convection Oven 325°

Weight

Cook Time (Unstuffed)

Cook Time (Stuffed)

3-5½ lbs.

1½ -2 hrs.

1¾-2½ hrs.

5½-9 lbs.

2-2½ hrs.

2½-3¼ hrs.

18-22 lbs.

2½-3 hrs.

3¼-3¾ hrs.

22-24 lbs.

3-3½ hrs.

3¾-4¼ hrs.

From Frozen (Regular Oven 325°)

Weight

Cook Time (Unstuffed)

3-5½ lbs.

3-3¾ hrs.

5½-9 lbs.

3¾ -4½ hrs.

How to Roast Boneless Turkey Roasts

For smaller groups, try a boneless roast. It’s easier than ever:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Remove outer plastic netting and packaging. Leave inner string netting on the roast.
  3. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels. Refrigerate gravy packet.
  4. For easier net removal before serving, lift string netting and shift position on roast.
  5. Place roast, skin side up, on a flat roasting rack in 2-inch deep roasting pan. Do not add water to pan.
  6. Roast uncovered according to Cooking Schedule or until meat thermometer in center of breast roast reaches 170° F and in center of turkey roast reaches 175° F.
  7. Roasting time will vary if turkey is covered or placed in an oven-cooking bag.
  8. For easier net removal after roasting, wrap roast in foil and let stand 10 minutes. Remove netting and slice roast.

Roasting Tips

Roast From Frozen

Since you can’t adjust the string netting when roasting from frozen, be sure to wrap the roast in foil after it comes out of the oven.

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Remove gravy packet with spatula and refrigerate.
  3. Place roast, skin side up, on a flat roasting rack in a 2-inch deep roasting pan. Do not add water to pan.
  4. Roast uncovered according to Cooking Schedule or until meat thermometer in center of breast roast reaches 170° F and in center of turkey roast reaches 175° F.
  5. For easier net removal after roasting, wrap roast in foil and let stand 10 minutes. Remove netting and slice roast.