Sunday, November 20, 2011

Roasting a Turkey for Thanksgiving in Big Bear

For all of you who are not sure on how to properly roast your turkeys, here are simple instructions I found from Foster Farms. Also included is the adjustment for high altitude roasting at the bottom.

Roasting Turkey

One of the best roasting methods is also the simplest.


  • Remove wrapper from turkey. Release legs from oven-safe nylon leg clamps; pull neck and giblets from cavities. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water. Pat dry.
  • If using stuffing, fill cavities lightly with the mixture - don't press it in! Stuffing expands as it cooks.
  • Skewer cavity openings to secure stuffing. Tie legs together or return to oven-safe nylon leg clamps; twist wing tips under the back.


  • Place turkey, breast up, on a rack in shallow roasting pan at least 2" deep. Heat oven to 325°F.
  • Brush turkey with vegetable oil, melted butter, or margarine to prevent drying. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of inner thigh, not touching the bone.
  • Cover turkey loosely with a tent of aluminum foil to prevent splattering and over browning. For additional browning, uncover turkey for the last half hour of roasting.
  • Roast at 325°F using the roasting timetable as a guideline. The turkey is cooked when the meat thermometer reads 180-185°F at the thigh, or 170-175°F at the breast, and center of stuffing reaches at least 165°F. The drumstick should twist easily in its socket, and juices should run clear, with no traces of pink when pierced with a fork.
  • For easy slicing, let turkey stand 20 minutes after removing from oven.

Turkey Roasting Timetable

Roasting times will vary due to oven type, oven temperature and temperature of turkey before roasting. Begin checking turkey for doneness about one hour before end of recommended cooking time.

8 - 12 lbs.2 3/4 - 3 hours3 - 3 1/2 hours
12 - 14 lbs.3 - 3 3/4 hours3 1/2 - 4 hours
14 - 18 lbs.3 3/4 - 4 1/4 hours4 - 4 1/4 hours
18 - 20 lbs.4 1/4 - 4 1/2 hours4 1/4 - 4 3/4 hours
20 - 24 lbs.4 1/2 - 5 hours4 3/4 - 5 1/4 hours
Whole Breasts4 - 6 lbs.1 1/2 - 2 1/4 hours
Whole Breasts6 - 8 lbs.2 1/2 - 3 1/4 hours
Breast Halves4 lbs.1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours
Drumsticks3 lbs.1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours
Thighs4 lbs.1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours
Wings4 lbs.1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours

High Altitude Roasting

At altitudes of 5000+ feet, add approximately 5-10 minutes per pound to recommended "Turkey Roasting Timetable @ 325°F." Use a meat thermometer to verify doneness. The thermometer should read 180-185°F in the thickest part of thigh (not touching bone) for whole turkey, or 170-175°F. in the thickest part of the breast for turkey breast.

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