Thanksgiving 101

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is searching the internet trying to figure out how to cook a turkey! It’s all I can do not to stress out about timing it right and not making my guests twiddle their thumbs in anticipation while my Mashed Potatoes go cold and my Green Bean Casserole goes limp!!

While surfing the net I came across a few helpful resources that I thought I’d pass on…

Want to know how long you need to cook your bird? Thanks to WikiAnsers now you will be an expert!

USDA Roasting Timetable for Fresh or Thawed Turkey at 325° F.

These times are approximate and should always be used in conjunction with a properly placed thermometer. The USDA does not recommend cooking turkey in an oven set lower than 325° F.

8 to 12 pounds 2 3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 hours

8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

And are you wondering if you bought a Turkey large enough to feed your hungry crowd? Her’s what WikiAnswers says about Bird Size…

“You should estimate about one and a half to two pounds per person.”

So get a head count and a calculator and see if you’ll be ordering Pizza to top everyone off or if instead you’ll be sending home tons of left overs!

So good luck my friends on your Poultry endeavors! I’ll be saying a small prayer for all of us Hostesses out there!




  1. 1

    I just want to say that I LOVE your new header. I feel so inspired!

  2. 2

    Thank you!! Very helpful. Now the question is to stuff or not to stuff. ;)

  3. 3
    Connie Babe says:

    I never enjoyed cooking turkeys before I watched Wolfgang teach me how to brine a turkey…now? It never fails me and I do it a few times a year! I'm telling you, try it, you will not regret it!

  4. 4
    Jenn @ Livin' the Simple Life says:

    As much as I'd love to host a holiday meal at our new house, I have to say I'm relieved to not have to worry about cooking! :) Down here in the South we let the boys do the cooking – deep fried turkeys!

  5. 5

    Thanks for the help! :)

  6. 6
    The Girl Creative says:

    I made a new christmas blog header last night but wasn't sure if it was too early to put it up. Then I saw yours, and knew it was okay. :) Love it. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving. :)

  7. 7

    Hi Becca!

    Do your tastebuds and oven a favor and have Mike deep fry your turkey! It is super yummy, fast and it gives you more oven space! You will need to find another stuffing method but worth it!!!!
    Have a wonderful FEAST!

  8. 8

    I don't know where you live but if you shop at Safeway and get the chance, try their 2 hour recipe (pick it up & cook it at a non-holiday time – our first was a "practice" turkey just for us). My husband LOVES it – we've used it the last 3 years and we have not had to cook our bird more than 2.5 hours (yes – I know – but we get a bigger bird than their 2 hour recipe calls for). The only other suggestion (if you go with it) is make sure a window is open & you actually turn off your smoke detector. The olive oil burns off pretty heavily at first and it can wreak some havoc! Still the most tender turkey I've ever eaten, though… YUM!

  9. 9

    Thanks! I wasn't stressed out until I read your post….kidding. My first solo Turkey attempt was last Christmas, a true feeding of the 5000….or maybe 25. Still. My little red indicaitor thingy never "popped" and my thermometer didn't read the right temp, but I left it in almost an hour longer than it was suppose to. My SIL said, "just cut into it. It looks done." And it was….best turkey they ever had! (well, that's what they told me anyway) GOOD LUCK! You'll do FABULOUS, I'm sure!

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