Thanksgiving Preparations (Turkey)

So as we approach the time that Tom Turkey tries to get away and we eagerly chase this turkey to get him on our festive tables let’s take a moment to remember some of the finer points of preparing!
(Talk about a run-on sentence! eish)

First things first how do you know you have taken the appropriate time to thaw your turkey? Here is a guide:

Turkey SizeThaw in RefrigeratorThaw in Cold Water
4 to 12 lbs.1 to 3 days2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 lbs.3 to 4 days6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 lbs.4 to 5 days8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 lbs.5 to 6 days10 to 12 hours

Because this is just the start of preparing Tom (your turkey, you turkey) you need to start thinking about how you are going to cook him up. For this post, we are just going over the basics. So let’s stick to roasting (325 degrees):

Turkey SizeUnstuffedStuffed
4 to 6 lbs. (breast)1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hoursNot usually applicable
6 to 8 lbs. (breast)2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hours3 to 3 1/2 hours
8 to 12 lbs.2 3/4 to 3 hours3 to 3 1/2 hours
12 to 14 lbs.3 to 3 3/4 hours3 1/2 to 4 hours
14 to 18 lbs.3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 lbs.4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
20 to 24 lbs.4 1/2 to 5 hours4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

Because some of you are going to stuff the turkey I made sure to include that section as well. Stuffing the turkey is great, I used to love putting the stuffing together and in the turkey. Nowadays we have so many people over I need to make more stuffing than a 30+lbs turkey could hold! Instead, I put in fruits to help keep the turkey moist and flavorful as well as other fun things I do for our turkey!

May you have a wonderful time, be it for Thanksgiving or just because, with knowing your turkey will be fine! Remember, 165 degrees at least taken at the thigh area for temperature before serving. Make sure to knock out those nasty bacteria!

If you have other questions on meat safety these charts were in part provided by

Someone grab that turkey it’s getting away!! Gotta go! Enjoy!