Cooking Turkey

Consumers have so many options available when it comes to turkey cuts! Plus, turkey’s versatility in the kitchen makes this lean protein fit for just as many preparation methods. Refer to the chart below for some quick tips on how to prepare a delicious turkey meal.

FriedGrilledOven
Roasted
Sauteed Slow
Cooker
Smoked
Bone-In
Breast
xxxxx
Bone-In
Thigh
xxxx
Boneless
Breast
xxxxx
Boneless Thighxxx
Ground
Turkey
xxx
Leg/Drumstickxxxxx
Sausage/Frankxxxxx
Tenderloinxxxx
Turkey Burgerx
Turkey Chopxxxx
Turkey Cutletxxxxx
Wing/Drumettexxxxx

Preparation Methods

Roasting Turkey

Cook until temperature reaches 165° F. Cooking times are for planning purposes only – always use a meat thermometer to determine if the turkey is done. Approximate timetable for roasting a turkey at 325° F:

Unstuffed Turkey Weight:
8 to 12 pounds
12 to 14 pounds
14 to 18 pounds
18 to 20 pounds
20 to 24 pounds
24 to 30 pounds
Cooking Time:
2 3/4 to 3 hours
3 to 3 3/4 hours
3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
4 1/2 to 5 hours
5 to 5 1/4 hours
Stuffed Turkey Weight:
8 to 12 pounds
12 to 14 pounds
14 to 18 pounds
18 to 20 pounds
20 to 24 pounds
24 to 30 pounds
Cooking Time:
3 to 3 1/2 hours
3 1/2 to 4 hours
4 to 4 1/4 hours
4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours
5 1/4 to 6 1/4 hours

Grilling Turkey

Indirect heat is ideal for cooking whole turkeys, which need slower cooking. With indirect heat, the lid is closed and the meat is placed in a tray or on the unlit portion of the grill. Grill the turkey for approximately 12 to 15 minutes per pound, according to the grill manufacturer’s instructions. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the turkey’s internal temperature reaches 165° F.

Deep Frying Turkey

Deep-fried turkey, a concept that started in the South, has risen in popularity nationwide. It’s a perfect twist for holiday feasts, barbecues and block parties. Learn more about how to fry a turkey and find a few tasty recipes as part of “The How-To on Deep Frying Turkey.”