How long does it take to cook a 20 pound thawed turkey to perfection?

How long does it take to cook a 20 pound thawed turkey to perfection?

Thanksgiving Türkiye
Thanksgiving Türkiye – Kajakiki/Getty Images

When it’s time to plan your Thanksgiving turkey, don’t get caught up in turkey failure; Make sure you know exactly how long you can expect to cook your bird. After all, it may take a lot longer than you think, especially if you’re cooking a 20-pound turkey. A thawed 20-pound turkey in the oven should be at 325 degrees Fahrenheit somewhere from four hours and 15 minutes to four hours and 30 minutes to be completely and safely cooked. Make sure to consider things like if you are constantly opening the oven door to cook your bird, or if your oven usually takes longer to cook things because this can lengthen the cooking time.

As a general rule for cooking any size turkey, the internal temperature of the brisket should reach a temperature of at least 165 degrees F, according to the USDA. Dark meat is safe to eat at 165°F, but generally tastes better at 175°F after the connective tissue has broken down and produced more tender meat. Using a meat thermometer can take the guessing game out of cooking a turkey and is highly recommended for cooking the perfect turkey.

Plan your meal time to give yourself enough time to cook and carve your bird. If you’re planning an afternoon meal, you may want to start cooking the turkey as early as 9 a.m

Read more: 12 different ways to cook chicken

Cooking a 20-pound stuffed turkey

Cooking a turkey in the oven

Cooking a turkey in the oven – noraismail / Shutterstock

If you’re a fan of traditional Thanksgiving, you can choose to cook the stuffing inside the turkey. Whether or not you do this controversial cooking method is up to you. Although this may give you more flavor, it will also affect how long you cook the turkey. You will still roast your bird at 325°F, but you will have to increase its time in the oven. An unstuffed bird usually needs 15 to 20 minutes per pound, but a stuffed bird should cook for 20 to 25 minutes per pound. This may not seem important but it can add up quickly.

A stuffed turkey can take anywhere from 4 hours and 15 minutes to 5 hours. Be careful when cooking a stuffed turkey, not only must your meat reach a safe temperature, but so must your stuffing. The cooked stuffing inside the turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA. This is the same temperature the turkey needs to reach, which makes this detail easier to remember. You can use a food thermometer to make sure the filling reaches the right temperature.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.

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