Question: What is a safe way to thaw a turkey?
Answer: The best way is to take your turkey from the freezer and put your frozen turkey in the refrigerator. Allow 1 day for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.
Question: How long is it going to take to fully cook my turkey?
Answer: At an oven temperature of 325 degrees F., it should take a whole turkey (unstuffed) 2 3/4 -3 hours for an 8 to 12 pound turkey; 3-3 3/4 hours for a 12 to 14 pound turkey; and 3 3/4-4 1/4 hours for a 14-18 pound turkey. These times are approximate. You should always check to see if the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. by using a meat thermometer.
NOTE: Don’t forget to remove the giblets from the inside cavity of your bird before roasting.
Question: How long can I leave the turkey out after dinner before it spoils?
Answer: It should not be out for more than 2 hours. Take the turkey off the bones and refrigerate in small portions, or freeze the meat for later use. This applies to the rest of your meal that is perishable as well.
For additional questions, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at: 1-888-674-6854. Or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Linnette Mizer Goard, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension