Giblets are packaged in a plastic bag and are found either in the neck cavity or the body cavity. Remove and rinse in cold water before cooking.
Stuffing can be prepared separately and placed in a covered casserole dish to cook during the last hour of the turkey roasting time. For those who prefer to stuff their turkey: Prepare stuffing and spoon loosely into body cavity just before roasting, do not pack stuffing. Never stuff your turkey the day before. Remove stuffing prior to carving the turkey.
Seasoning and Roasting Your Turkey
Place turkey breast side up on a rack in roasting pan. Season the skin and inside the cavity with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, cayenne, thyme, rosemary or your favourite herbs and spices. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful to not touch the bone.
Roasting Your Turkey
Place in roaster and cover loosely with foil or roaster lid. Roast in a preheated oven 325° to 350° F (160° – 180° C) oven. If you choose to baste your turkey, limit the number of times you open and close your oven (once an hour is sufficient). To brown skin further, remove foil or roaster lid approximately 1 hour before done.General rule of thumb for oven cooking a stuffed turkey at 325° F is 15 minutes per pound (30 minutes per kilogram).
Many variables affect the roasting time. An accurate meat thermometer is recommended. Time will vary based on the temperature of the preheated oven, temperature of the bird going into the oven, the accuracy of the oven’s thermostat, how many times the oven door is opened during roasting and the type of roasting pan. We find stainless steel roasters cook more slowly than the darker speckled enamelware.
Begin checking for doneness about one hour before the end of the recommended roasting time.
Fresh turkeys cook faster.
Your turkey is done when:
- meat thermometer in the inner thigh reads 180° F (82° C) for a stuffed turkey
- meat thermometer in the inner thigh reads 170° F (77° C) for an unstuffed turkey
- when cooked to perfection the turkey meat and juices may have a slight pink tinge. The temperature of the meat is the most important sign of doneness.
When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven or barbecue. Cover it with foil and let it stand for 20-25 minutes before carving. Letting your turkey stand for at least 15 minutes will help lock in the natural juices, keeping the meat tender and easier to carve.
Approximate Times for Cooking
Weight Stuffed Turkey Unstuffed Turkey
13 – 16 lbs / 6.0 – 7.25 kg 3 ½ - 3 ¾ hours 3 ¼ - 3 ½ hours
16 – 19 lbs / 7.25 – 8.5 kg 4 – 4 ½ hours 3 ½ - 4 hours
10 – 22 lbs / 8.5 – 10 kg 4 ½ - 5 ¼ hours 4 – 4 ½ hours
Smaller birds require more minutes cooking time per pound.