Tampa Bay, Florida - How long you need to cook a turkey depends on a lot of different variables. Southernfood.com suggests always following recommended cooking techniques and using a meat thermometer to make sure that the bird reaches a temperature to destroy bacteria and prevent things like salmonella poisoning. You also want to be careful not to overcook the turkey.
Other variables also affect the roasting time of the whole bird:
- Dark roasting pans cook faster than shiny metals.
- The depth and size of the pan can reduce heat circulation to all areas of the bird.
- The use of a foil tent for the entire time can slow cooking.
- Use of the roasting pan's lid speeds cooking.
- An oven cooking bag can accelerate cooking time.
- A stuffed bird takes longer to cook.
- Oven may heat food unevenly.
- Calibration of the oven's thermostat may be inaccurate.
- The rack position can have an effect on even cooking and heat circulation.
- A turkey or its pan may be too large for the oven, thus blocking heat circulation
Here are the standard cooking times.
Weight of bird Roasting Time(unstuffed) Roasting time (stuffed)
10 to 18 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours 3-3/4 to 4-1/2 hours
18 to 22 pounds 3-1/2 to 4 hours 4-1/2 to 5 hours
22 to 24 pounds 4 to 4-1/2 hours 5 to 5-1/2 hours
24 to 29 pounds 4-1/2 to 5 hours 5-1/2 to 6-1/4 hours
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