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How-to Roast A Turkey

The last thing you want is to invite a bunch of people to your house and then have your turkey disintegrate a la Ellen Griswold. Follow the directions below to avoid resorting to an emergency bucket of takeout chicken.

  • Heat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
  • Remove plastic wrap from thawed turkey and carefully discard.
  • Remove neck and giblets from body cavity (these are tucked inside the neck and body cavities, so be sure to check both).
  • Giblets can be rinsed and cooked in a saucepan of boiling water and simmered during turkey roasting time.
  • Use the rich broth in your gravy preparation (discard giblets).
  • Rinse turkey well inside and out with cold water.
  • Thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.
  • Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan.
  • Brush with about 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter.
  • Insert meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of inside thigh muscle and does not touch bone.
  • Roast uncovered, following the Roasting Guidelines Chart below for approximate total cooking time.
  • The drumstick should move easily when lifted or twisted.
  • Roast until juice is no longer pink when centre of thigh is cut.
  • When the turkey is done remove it from the oven. Cover with foil and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Roasting Guidelines Chart

Oven Temperature:  325ºF/160ºC
Weight Oven Time Hours
- Stuffed
Oven Time Hours
- Unstuffed
6 to 8 lbs (3.0 to 3.5 kg) 3 to 3¼ 2½ to 2¾
8 to10 lbs (3.5 to 4.5 kg) 3¼ to 3½ 2¾ to 3
10 to 12 lbs (4.5 to 5.5 kg) 3½  to 3¾ 3 to 3¼
12 to16 lbs (5.5 to 7.0 kg) 3¾ to 4 3¼ to 3½
16 to 22 lbs (7.0 to 10.0 kg) 4 to 4½ 3½ to 4