If you’re nervous about cooking a turkey for the first time, don’t worry. We’ve all been there! Among your many questions, one of them undoubtedly is, “do you cook a turkey at 325 or 350 degrees?” Today, we will answer that question and a few others related to baking a delicious and juicy turkey in the oven. So, if you’re ready, let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- Cooking Turkey at 325 vs. 350- What’s the Difference?
Turkey Roasting Temperatures and Times
- Do You Cook a 10 lb Turkey at 325 or 350?
- How Long Do I Cook a 12 lb Turkey at 325 Degrees?
- Do You Cook a 14 lb Turkey at 325 or 350?
- How Long Do You Cook a 14 lb Stuffed turkey at 325?
- How Long Does it Take to Cook a 14 lb Turkey at 350 Degrees?
- How Long Do You Cook a 20 lb Turkey at 325 Degrees?
- How Long Do You Cook a 20 lb Turkey at 350?
- Do You Cook a Turkey at 325 or 350? Either One Works!
Cooking Turkey at 325 vs. 350- What’s the Difference?
When looking at recipes for roasting a turkey in the oven, you may notice that different instructions recommend different temperature settings for cooking. Add to this the fact that roasting turkey is already an involved process, and you’re probably already feeling stressed and confused.
To answer the question in a nutshell, turkey can be cooked at both 325°F and 350°F. According to the USDA, the most important thing is that your turkey registers 165F when using a meat thermometer at the thickest part of the thigh.
The real question, therefore, isn’t whether or not you should cook your turkey at 325°F or 350°F, but rather, what the stipulations are surrounding each. Choosing one temperature over another has its benefits and drawbacks, so let’s explore what those are now.
Do You Cook a Stuffed Turkey at 325 or 350?
Recall that you can choose to cook a stuffed or unstuffed turkey at either 325 or 350 according to your preference. However, there will be benefits and disadvantages associated with each.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing which temperature is best for your bird.
A recipe that calls for a turkey to be cooked at a certain temperature should be adhered to. Unless you know what you’re doing and exactly how much time the turkey will need to be roasted according to its weight, you should try to stick with the script.
Prepping an oven-roasted turkey isn’t anything you’ll want to guess about. It requires a certain finesse that, if missing, can ruin this very popular traditional meal.
The Weight of the Turkey
One of the biggest factors you’ll need to consider when figuring out how long to cook a turkey at either 325 or 350 is the weight of the bird.
The weight of the turkey directly influences cooking time and can add as much as 1-2 hours (or more) to the time needed for roasting in the oven.
We’ll get into more specifics about how to sync cooking times with the weight of the turkey later, but just know that cooking times will change depending on how heavy your bird is.
The Intended Results
Do you want your turkey skin nice and crisp upon serving? Is tender and juicy turkey meat important to you? How long you cook your bird and at what temperature is going to yield different results.
Of course, the ultimate goal is to have the turkey cooked through, but there’s more to it than this. A juicy and tender bird and a crisp outer skin are possible, but you’ll need to play around with your oven a bit to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Stuffed or Unstuffed
If your turkey is stuffed you’re going to need to add about 10 minutes or more extra per pound to your cooking time.
Nevertheless, many people still choose to stuff their bird with something, even if it isn’t stuffing. Ideas include onion, lemon, and herbs. If this is you, understand that it will take your bird a bit longer to cook this way than if you hadn’t stuffed your turkey.
Note: If you choose to use twine, this also may affect the way your turkey cooks. Opt for using no twine to help the bird cook more evenly.
Last but not least, it’s going to take a bit longer to cook a turkey at 325 than at 350. Make sure you’ve got time in your schedule to accommodate extended cooking time frames before you embark on the endeavor.
How Long to Cook a Turkey at 350?
Now, for the specifics!
If you plan to cook a turkey at 350°F, plan to have the turkey in the oven for at least 2-2.5 hours.
Know that the amount of time your turkey needs to cook will be in direct correlation with how much your turkey weighs. At 350°F, you can expect to cook a turkey at approximately 13-15 minutes per pound.
How Long Should You Cook a Turkey at 325?
Cooking a turkey at 350°F can deliver up juicy and tender meat with nice crisp skin. But some people prefer a slow-roasting method.
If this is you, plan to cook a turkey at 325°F for at least 3 hours or more. Again, the exact amount of time will depend on the weight of your bird. Roast turkeys for about 17 minutes per pound at 325°F or until the meat thermometer registers 165F at the thickest part of the thigh.
Is It Safe to Cook a Turkey at 325 Degrees?
Cooking a turkey at 325°F is perfectly safe. The most important thing is that you cook the turkey long enough by calculating how much time is needed to cook the bird through at this temperature.
Remember that turkey cooks at 325°F for about 17 minutes per pound. It should also register at 165°F before you slice and serve.
Turkey Roasting Temperatures and Times
Do You Cook a 10 lb Turkey at 325 or 350?
Recall that any turkey can be cooked at either 325 or 350°F. If you choose to cook your turkey at 325°F, plan on it taking about 170 minutes, or close to 3 hours. At 350°F, you’ll need to cook the bird for 150 minutes or close to 2.5 hours.
If you’ve stuffed your bird, the amount of time it takes for your turkey to cook may be slightly longer. Use a meat thermometer to know for sure.
How Long Do I Cook a 12 lb Turkey at 325 Degrees?
A 12lb turkey will take about 204 minutes or close to 3.5 hours to cook all the way through.
Do You Cook a 14 lb Turkey at 325 or 350?
You can cook a 14 lb turkey at either 325°F or 350°F, though it will take a lengthier amount of time to cook the turkey at a lower heat setting.
How Long Do You Cook a 14 lb Stuffed turkey at 325?
Plan to cook a stuffed bird at 325°F for about 252 minutes or more, which is about the same as a little over 4 hours.
How Long Does it Take to Cook a 14 lb Turkey at 350 Degrees?
A 14lb turkey can be cooked at 350°F for about 210 minutes which converts to approximately 3.5 hours.
How Long Do You Cook a 20 lb Turkey at 325 Degrees?
A 20lb turkey will take a while to cook at 325°F. You can expect a turkey this size to take about 340 minutes which is the same as a little over 5.5 hours.
How Long Do You Cook a 20 lb Turkey at 350?
A 20lb turkey can be cooked at 350°F for about 300 minutes or exactly 5 hours.
Don’t forget to keep the leftovers from this big bird to place atop a delicious turkey sandwich the next day!
Do You Cook a Turkey at 325 or 350? Either One Works!
As you can see, cooking your turkey can be accomplished at either 325°F or 350°F with a bit of alteration to your cooking schedule.
When calculating cooking times for your turkey, always stick to 13-15 minutes per pound for 350°F and 15-17 minutes per pound for ovens set at 325°F. The results should produce a beautifully brown turkey with moist and juicy meat every time.
Most experts recommend you cook turkey between 325-350°F for best results. Others even recommended roasting the turkey at about 425°F for 5-10 minutes before kicking the temperature of the oven back down. Either way, you can expect to get stellar results from oven settings of either 325°F or 350°F.
A turkey can be cooked at 325°F or 350°F depending on your preference. Many cooks prefer to cook at a higher temperature such as 350°F for a shorter period of time. Still, slow-roasting your turkey at 325°F is a viable option as well.
If you plan to cook your turkey at 325°F, you’ll need to multiply the amount that your bird weighs by 17 minutes to get an understanding of how long your turkey should be cooked.
A 20 pound turkey will usually take about 5 hours or 300 minutes in the oven before fully cooked. If, however, your turkey still appears undercooked at this time or isn’t registering 165°F, always cook it for longer. Meat should be tender when sliced and juices should run clear.