Roasted Stuffed Turkey With Cooking Time Chart

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Turkey Defrosting Time

The average time to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator is approximately 24 hours per every 5 pounds. So if you have a 20 pound turkey count on it taking 3-4 days.

If on the day that you are cooking the turkey it is not quite all the way defrosted, you can put it into the kitchen sink, in its original wrapper, and run cold water over it to speed up the defrosting. Another way is to place the turkey in a container of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until it had thawed.

Never defrost a turkey out on the counter as there is a danger of bacterial growth.

Turkey is a traditional holiday meal in many homes. If you've never cooked or stuffed a turkey before don't worry it is an easy meal to prepare.

First off you'll need to decide whether you're going to buy a fresh turkey or a frozen turkey. There is no difference when it comes to cooking fresh or frozen. If you buy a frozen bird you'll need to allow time for it to defrost in the refrigerator. The larger the bird the longer it will take to defrost.

Next you will want to prepare the turkeys defrosting vessel .... the fridge. Make sure that there's a comfortable spacious area for him to sit and chillax for several days without being disturbed.


Turkey Size

When estimating what size turkey you'll need, it is safe to assume that 1.5 pounds per person will be sufficient. Not everyone will eat one and a half pounds but then again some people may eat more.

Personally I like to cook a large turkey no matter how many people are coming for dinner. This way I have plenty of leftovers for turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey pot pie, and so on.

Purchasing Your Turkey

When going to pick out your turkey you'll want to figure out how large a bird you will need. Depending on how many people will be attending the turkey feasting ritual and for how many days you want to continue feasting needs be considered. In this case size does matter.

Fresh Turkey

If you are purchasing a fresh turkey it should be cooked within two days. Some people find that cooking a fresh bird rather than frozen produces a juicier bird.

Turkey Roasting / Cooking Time Chart

Weight of Turkey
Turkey Unstuffed 325°F/160C
Turkey Stuffed 325°F/160C
6-8 pounds (3.0-3.5kg)
2 1/2 - 3 3/4 hours
3 - 3 1/4 hours
8-10 pounds (3.5-4.5kg)
2 3/4 - 3 hours
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 hours
10-12 pounds (4.5-5.5kg)
3 - 3 1/4 hours
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 hours
12-16 pounds (5.5-7.0kg)
3 1/4 -3 1/2 hours
3 3/4 - 4 hours
16-20 pounds (7.0-9.0kg)
3 1/4 - 4 1/2 hours
4 1/4 - 4 3/4 hours
20-24 pounds (9.0-10.9kg)
4 - 5 hours
4 3/4 - 5 1/2 hours
Depending on various conditions such as; how hot your oven gets, how cold the turkey was when it went into the oven and how many times you open the oven during cooking this chart may vary to some degree.

Cook and prep time for turkey stuffing not including time in turkey

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: This recipe is for a 12 pound turkey
Turkey is now ready to be stuffed.
Turkey is now ready to be stuffed. | Source

Preparing the turkey to be stuffed

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F/160C.
  • In the bottom of a roasting pan place 3-4 ribs of celery. This will make a rack for the turkey to sit on, and will make cleaning the pan easier.
  • Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and rinse the turkey under cold water. Be sure to rinse out the cavity as well.
  • Place the turkey on top of the celery in the roasting pan.


Turkey Stuffing Ingredients

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Ingredients for turkey stuffing

  • 12 cups of cubed or torn up bread, you can use any type of bread that you have
  • 1 medium cooking onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning or sage
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tbs of olive oil, butter or margarine

Photo Tutorial on Making the Stuffing and Stuffing the Bird

Click thumbnail to view full-size
12 cups of torn breadSaute celery, onions and garlicStuffing is all mixedGet ready to stuffInsert stuffing into the turkeyThis cavity is now fullStuffing the neck cavityApplying butter to the turkey. I've scooped the butter with plastic wrap in order to apply it to the bird.Turkey has now been buttered.
12 cups of torn bread
12 cups of torn bread
Saute celery, onions and garlic
Saute celery, onions and garlic
Stuffing is all mixed
Stuffing is all mixed
Get ready to stuff
Get ready to stuff
Insert stuffing into the turkey
Insert stuffing into the turkey
This cavity is now full
This cavity is now full
Stuffing the neck cavity
Stuffing the neck cavity
Applying butter to the turkey. I've scooped the butter with plastic wrap in order to apply it to the bird.
Applying butter to the turkey. I've scooped the butter with plastic wrap in order to apply it to the bird.
Turkey has now been buttered.
Turkey has now been buttered. | Source

Instructions for preparing and stuffing the turkey.

  1. Cut or tear up the bread and place it into a large bowl.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the chopped celery, onions and garlic. Cook for eight to ten minutes.
  3. To the bread cubes add the poultry seasoning along with the ground pepper, thyme, and mix. At this point you may add any other seasonings that you wish to.
  4. Add to the bowl the cooked celery, onions, and garlic. Mix and then add the beaten eggs, mixing well.
  5. In your hand grab a portion of the stuffing mix and push into the cavity of the bird. Keep adding until the cavity is full. Fill both cavities. Fasten the legs of the turkey together with either the hock lock that is attached or with string. Make sure to tuck the skin that is at the neck cavity under the bird so that the stuffing does not fall out.
  6. Rub the turkey all over with butter or margarine. Add 1-1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom of the turkey pan.
  7. Place tin foil around the wing tips and anywhere along the inside of the roasting pan where the bird may touch. This so that the bird does not stick to the pan. Tent the bird with foil and place into the preheated oven.
  8. The turkey can be basted several times during the cooking time. A half hour before the turkey is set to come out of the oven remove the foil so that the bird may brown.
  9. Once the internal temperature of the turkey breast is at 170°F (77°C), the turkey is ready to come out of the oven. Let the turkey sit 15 - 20 minutes. Remove all the stuffing and put it into a serving bowl. Now you can being to carve your turkey. Serve and ENJOY!

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5 stars from 10 ratings of Traditional Turkey Stuffing

Turkey Quiz

To see more recipes or hub articles by this author please follow the link below.
To see more recipes or hub articles by this author please follow the link below. | Source

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When is your favorite time to eat turkey? 73 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Peg, Happy Thanksgiving to you too!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

Perfect timing for this great instructive article. I really appreciated the turkey cooking chart and the stuffing preparation recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Rebecca, Hope it helps and a Very Happy Thanksgiving to you!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 weeks ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thanks for sharing this again, Susan. I am cooking a turkey this Thanksgiving for the first time in awhile. I can sure use this.


Wednesday-Elf profile image

Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

I forgot you were in Canada, Susan. :) Two Thanksgivings -- sounds like a winner to me. :) It's my favorite holiday of the year. Perhaps I should begin to celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving too. After all, my grandfather came from Toronto and a distant relative came from Quebec, so I have Canada in my blood from both sides of the family. :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks Elf! We celebrate both the Canadian Thanksgiving in October and the American one too.


Wednesday-Elf profile image

Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

Excellent advice, Susan. Can't believe it is already 'turkey time'. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I love turkey time :) Let Thanksgiving get here quick:) Thanks Brenda! Happy upcoming Thanksgiving to you and yours.


TreasuresBrenda profile image

TreasuresBrenda 2 years ago from Canada

Turkey time is coming. Great information for those looking for a bit of help cooking their turkey!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Jackie, I'm a huge fan of garlic and I put garlic in so many things. It helps to keep the vampires away too :)

Hope you enjoy the stuffing this way.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I will have to try this. I have never put garlic or egg in stuffing, will have a go at it. Thanks for sharing! ^


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Glad you found it useful vespawoolf. I actually make a stuffed turkey dinner about 4 times a year I'd say. Some years more. I love turkey and I think the best part about it is the leftovers and all the wonderful dishes you can make with the leftovers.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Ruby, So happy you came back and thanks so much! I love hugs :)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

This is timely information. I can remember many years that I browsed the web for turkey cooking times...after all, we usually only do it once a year, right? I like your no-nonsense introduction and useful charts. Thank you!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I came back to get a refresher course since i'll be cooking turkey soon. Thank you Susan. God's blessings as you go through chemo..Hugs..


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks so much!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks DzyMsLizzy so glad that you found this useful. Happy upcoming Holiday season to you and your family.


Susan Recipes profile image

Susan Recipes 3 years ago from India

Great hub. Very well written with great pics. Thanks for sharing.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks Kathryn. Have a very Happy upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday weekend and see you online :)


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

As a vegetarian, I eat "around" the turkey on T-Day. However, the rest of the family wants their turkey, so we always have one, at whichever family home we are eating THAT year.

Thanks for the defrosting chart. I always have trouble with that, and more than once, we've had to resort to the 'emergency defrost' methods.

Voted up, interesting and useful.


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