- Place on tray in refrigerator. Allow about 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey.
- Cover with cold water, changing water every ½ hour. Allow ½ hour per pound of turkey.
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Remove neck and giblets from cavities. Rinse turkey with cold water; drain and pat dry with paper towels. Turn wing tips onto back of turkey. Secure drumsticks together. Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush entire bird with vegetable oil. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of inner thigh, not touching bone. Cover loosely with a tent of foil or roast bird without foil until desired brownness; then cover with tent. Roast until meat thermometer reaches 165 F. When turkey is two-thirds done, carefully separate drumsticks so turkey thighs cook evenly. Let stand 15-20 minutes before carving.
Timetable for Fresh or Thawed Turkey in a 325 F Oven
These times are approximate and should always be used in conjunction with a properly placed accurate meat thermometer in accordance with the USDA’s 2006 recommendations.
A longer roasting time is required if turkey is slightly frozen. For optimum safety, the USDA recommends not stuffing a turkey. They recommend baking dressing in a buttered, shallow casserole, covered, in a preheated 325 F oven until meat thermometer reaches 165 F (35-45 minutes).
8-12 pounds 2 ¾ -3 hours
12-14 pounds 3-3 ¾ hours
14-18 pounds 3 ¾-4 ¼ hours
18-20 pounds 4 ¼ -4 ½ hours
20-24 pounds 4 ½ -5 hours
Timings are based on the USDA’s recommended guidelines for roasting turkey.