Planning on having a turkey for your holiday meal? Wondering how big of a bird you should buy, or how long it should cook? Read on for a primer on turkey math 101...
Use the following guidelines to help you pick and cook the perfect bird this holiday season.
- Turkeys that are less than 16 pounds, serve one person per pound (i.e. 14 pound turkey serves 14 people, 16 pound turkey serves 16 people).
- Turkeys that are larger than 16 pounds, serve slightly more since there is more meat in proportion to bone
Weight (lbs) Average serving Large serving with leftovers 14 14 9 16 16 10 18 20 12 20 22 14
Source: Fine CookingEstimated cooking times for a stuffed turkey:
|8 to 12 pounds||3 to 4 hours|
|12 to 16 pounds||4 to 4 1/2 hours|
|16 to 20 pounds||4 1/2 to 5 hours|
|20 to 26 pounds||5 to 6 hours|
Source: Fine Cooking
If you are cooking an unstuffed bird, you can subtract 20 to 40 minutes for the cooking times. Of course, the best way to ensure your bird is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the bird. A meat thermometer inserted in the inner thigh should read 180ºF (82ºC) for a stuffed turkey or 170ºF (77ºC) for an unstuffed turkey.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.