How Long to Cook a Stuffed Turkey for Safe Yet Juicy Results
Wondering how long to cook your stuffed turkey? You've come to the right place. Here, our Test Kitchen experts share their top tips for how to cook a stuffed turkey, including time and temp suggestions.
We’re all far more familiar with cooking turkey and chicken breasts than a whole bird. And we know it can be a challenge to become an ace at roasting a perfectly juicy bird (especially when you might only roast a turkey a couple of times a year). The plot thickens even more when you introduce stuffing into the picture. So if you are wondering how long to cook a stuffed turkey or are feeling intimidated by roasting a stuffed turkey, you’ve come to the right place. We 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.
How Long to Cook a Stuffed Turkey
You’ve selected your favorite stuffing recipe, dressed up your centerpiece with a turkey rub, and have stuffed the bird. The oven is preheating, your make-ahead sides are set, and the pies are all ready to be adorned with whipped cream when the time is right. (Phew! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back; you’re almost there!)
Now, how long do you cook a stuffed turkey per pound? In a 325°F oven, here’s a rough guide for how long to cook a stuffed turkey from the pros at foodsafety.gov. These stuffed turkey cooking times have been tested and proven to work well by our Test Kitchen team:
- 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 stuffed turkey roasting time is by checking in every 15 minutes or so after the 3-hour mark using a meat thermometer. This probe thermometer ($22, Target) 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.
For the most delicious results, cover your turkey loosely with foil and let stand for about 10 minutes before carving. Remove stuffing before carving. By following these tips for how to cook a stuffed turkey, you're sure to serve a perfectly roasted dinner every time.