Wondering how long to cook a stuffed turkey? You may also be asking what’s the right cooking time per pound for your stuffed turkey? Most of us are more familiar with cooking turkey or chicken breasts than we are with cooking a whole bird. And since you probably only roast a turkey once or twice a year, it can be a challenge to master roasting a perfectly juicy bird. So if you’re wondering how long to cook a stuffed turkey, or you’re feeling intimidated by even the thought, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tapped our Test Kitchen pros to dish about everything you need to know for cooking a stuffed turkey to the perfect temperature, including food safety tips. Ready, set, roast.
Cooking Time for a Stuffed Turkey
You’ve selected your favorite stuffing recipe, dressed the turkey in a turkey rub, and stuffed the bird. You’re almost there. But what’s the cooking time for the turkey? Take a moment to pat yourself on the back because you’re almost there. We’re sharing exactly how long you should cook a stuffed turkey.
How to Defrost a Turkey in Time for the Feast
First, what’s the cooking time per pound for a stuffed turkey? Using a 325°F oven, here’s a rough per pound guide from the pros at foodsafety.gov. These stuffed turkey cooking times have been tested and proven to work well by our Test Kitchen team:
How to Stuff a Turkey – Martha Stewart
- For 10- to 12-pound turkey, roast 3¼ hours to 3½ hours.
- For 12- to 14-pound turkey, roast 3½ to 4 hours.
- For 14- to 18-pound turkey, roast 4 to 4¼ hours.
- For 18- to 20-pound turkey, roast 4¼ to 4¾ hours.
- For 20- to 24-pound turkey, roast 4¾ to 5¼ hours.
The safest way to determine your exact roasting time is by checking every 15 minutes or so after the 3-hour mark using a meat thermometer. This probe thermometer lets you keep an eye on the turkey temp without opening and closing the oven. When cooking a stuffed turkey, the temperature should read 165°F in the stuffing, 170°F in the breast, and 175°F in the thigh. Note that after removing the turkey from the oven, the temperature of the meat will rise about 5°F.
Test Kitchen Tip: Resting the Turkey
For the most delicious results, place a loose foil cover over your turkey and let it stand for about 10 minutes before carving. This ensures the meat has time to rest. Cooking turkey for Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be complicated! Be sure to remove the stuffing before carving and add it to a separate serving dish. If you follow these tips for how to cook a stuffed turkey, you’re sure to serve a perfectly roasted dinner every time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you cook a stuffed turkey at 325°F or 350°F?
For the best results, our Test Kitchen recommends cooking a stuffed turkey at 325°F. This allows the turkey to roast evenly for the juiciest meat.
Do you cook stuffing before putting it in the turkey?
There’s no need to cook stuffing before putting it into the turkey. If your stuffing recipe includes meat or sausage, ensure it is cooked before adding it to the recipe. Our Test Kitchen recommends placing the stuffing in the bird just before roasting.
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