Here are helpful instructions on roasting a turkey, complete with a chart on how long to roast a turkey, based on the classic recipe from the Butterball Turkey folks.
How to Roast a Turkey
- Place a thawed or fresh turkey, breast up, on a flat rack in a shallow pan, 2 to 2-½ inches deep.
- Brush or rub the skin with oil to prevent drying of the skin and to enhance the golden color.
- Place into a preheated 325° F oven.
- When the skin is a light golden color and the turkey is about two-thirds done, shield the breast loosely with a tent of lightweight foil to prevent overcooking of the breast.
How Long to Roast a Turkey
Use the roasting schedule below as a guideline, and start checking for doneness ½ hour before the recommended time ends.
Use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness. (Find out how to use a heat thermometer.) The turkey is cooked when it reaches the following internal temperatures:
- 180° to 185°F deep in the thigh; also, juices should be clear, not pink, when the thigh muscle is pierced deeply.
- 170° to 175°F in the thickest part of the breast, just above the rib bones.
- 160° to 165°F in the center of the stuffing (if the turkey is stuffed).
Let the turkey sit for 15 to 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to set.
Roast Turkey Cooking Times
|10 to 18||3 to 3-½||3-¾ to 4-½|
|18 to 22||3-½ to 4||4-½ to 5|
|22 to 24||4 to 4-½||5 to 5-½|
|24 to 30||4-½ to 5||5-½ to 6-¼|
See more about safe turkey cooking temperatures and times.