Roasting a Turkey – Amounts, Times & Temperature

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 37,619
    Chef Daniel Traster demonstrates how to roast a turkey including how much to purchase, cooking times and temperatures.

    Daniel Traster: I am Daniel Traster and I am here to show you how to roast a turkey. Right now we are going to talk through some very important facts that will help you prepare better.

    First, when purchasing your turkey you probably want to know how much to purchase? Turkeys comes in various sizes. A good estimate is to assume one pound per person that you are serving. For example, if you are serving 10 people a 10-pound turkey is about right. Of course, you can always go larger and have additional leftovers, but smaller you may one out of meat.

    Next, let's talk about cooking temperatures. When you have your oven, you want to cook at a temperature that allows your turkey to slowly roast as opposed to cooking too hot. A nice temperature of 325 degrees gives you a large window at which to pull it out so that you don't overcook your turkey.

    When trying to decide when to purchase your turkey, it's important to remember it will take several days to thaw if you are purchasing one that's already frozen. Assume about three days for a 15-pound turkey is a good time to allow it to thaw fully in the refrigerator. If you have an exceptionally large turkey you want to give it an extra day of thawing time in the refrigerator. If you purchase one that is already fully thawed you should store it in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

    You want to decide how long your turkey needs to roast. This is only an estimate, a guideline, but assume about 15 minutes per pound of turkey that will allow you to figure out when to put your turkey into the oven, but, of course, because it's only an estimate you want to make sure that you use a food thermometer to check when your turkey is finally ready. You are looking for a final internal temperature of 165 degrees.

    So those are some tips before you get started. Next, we are going to talk about preparing your turkey before it goes into the oven.