reviewed 12/12/2018

Turkey safety

Plan ahead to safety thaw and cook your turkey (by weight).

Eight-pound turkey:

Thaw for 2 days in the refrigerator or for 4 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) for 2 3/4 hours at 325 degrees.

Nine-pound turkey:

Thaw for 2 1/4 days in the refrigerator or for 4 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 2 3/4 at 325 degrees.

10-pound turkey:

Thaw for 2 1/2 days in the refrigerator or for 5 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) for 2 3/4 to 3 hours at 325 degrees.

11-pound turkey:

Thaw for 2 3/4 days in the refrigerator or for 5 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) for 3 hours at 325 degrees.

12-pound turkey:

Thaw for 3 days in the refrigerator or for 6 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 3 hours at 325 degrees.

13-pound turkey:

Thaw 3 1/4 days in the refrigerator or for 6 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.

14-pound turkey:

Thaw 3 1/2 days in the refrigerator or for 7 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 3 3/4 hours at 325 degrees.

15-pound turkey:

Thaw 3 3/4 days in the refrigerator or for 7 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 3 3/4 to 4 hours at 325 degrees.

16-pound turkey:

Thaw 4 days in the refrigerator or for 8 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 4 hours at 325 degrees.

17-pound turkey:

Thaw 4 1/2 days in the refrigerator or for 8 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 4 to 4 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.

18-pound turkey:

Thaw 4 1/2 days in the refrigerator or for 9 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 4 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.

19-pound turkey:

Thaw 4 3/4 days in the refrigerator or for 9 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.

20-pound turkey:

Thaw 5 days in the refrigerator or for 10 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 4 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.

21-pound turkey:

Thaw 5 1/4 days in the refrigerator or 10 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 hours at 325 degrees.

22-pound turkey:

Thaw 5 1/2 days in the refrigerator or 11 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) 4 3/4 hours at 325 degrees.

23-pound turkey:

Thaw 5 3/4 days in the refrigerator or for 11 1/2 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast 4 3/4 to 5 hours at 325 degrees.

24-pound turkey:

Thaw 6 days in the refrigerator or for 12 hours in cold water (change water every 30 minutes). Roast (unstuffed) for 5 hours at 325 degrees.

The right temperature:

Cook turkey and stuffing to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing, the thickest part of the breast, and in the center of the stuffing. It’s safest to cook stuffing separately from the turkey.

Eat or refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. Refrigerate (at 40 degrees or below) for 3 to 4 days or freeze (at 0 degrees or below) for 2 to 6 months.

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Disclaimer

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.