Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newbie to hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas, knowing how long to cook a turkey is crucial for putting on a delicious holiday feast. In the traditional Thanksgiving or holiday dinner spread, a turkey acts as the centerpiece and often the dish that all the other dishes complement.
When it comes to cooking the perfect mouthwatering bird, the size of your turkey plays a big role in determining how long it should be in the oven. Think of this as your cheat sheet for how long to cook a turkey. So, grab your apron, and let's break down the ideal cooking time for the perfect turkey for your holiday meal!
How Long To Cook Turkey
First things first, defrost your turkey.
And how long do you defrost a turkey? Well, standard practice is to defrost a turkey for 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. So, a turkey that is 4 pounds would be defrosted for 24 hours; a turkey that is 8 pounds would be defrosted for 48 hours, and so on and so forth. A 12-16 pound turkey can take 3-4 days to thaw in the fridge.
The safest way is to defrost your turkey in the fridge. Place your bird in a large tray or on a plate to catch any drips, and keep it covered to prevent any cross-contamination.
If you're short on time, you can use the cold water method to unthaw your turkey safely. Submerge the turkey in a large container with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes, and allow 30 minutes of thawing for every pound of turkey.
Cooking the Perfect Turkey
Cooking a turkey at 325 degrees Fahrenheit is a great choice for a delicious and evenly cooked bird. As a rough guideline, you can estimate about 15 minutes of cooking time per pound of turkey.
However, it's super important to use a meat thermometer to ensure it's fully cooked. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey (typically the thigh) should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep reading to learn more about ideal cook times for different pounds. The oven temperatures are based on Fahrenheit.
How long to cook an 8 pound turkey in the oven?
Cook a turkey that is 8 pounds for 2¾ to 3 hours at 325 degrees.
How long to cook a 10 pound turkey?
For a turkey that is 10 pounds, you can cook it in the oven for 2¾ to 3 hours at 325 degrees.
How long to cook a 13 pound turkey?
Cook a 13-pound turkey for 2¼ to 2½ hours in the oven at 425 degrees.
How long to cook a 15 pound turkey?
For a 15-pound turkey, cook it for 3 to 3¼ hours at 425 degrees.
How long to cook a 20 pound turkey?
For a turkey that is 20 pounds, cook it for 4 to 4½ hours at 325 degrees.
How long to cook a 22 pound turkey?
The cook time for a 22-pound turkey is around 4¼ to 4¾ hours at 350 degrees.
How long to cook a 24 pound turkey in the oven?
A 24-pound turkey can be cooked in around 5 to 5¼ hours at 350 degrees.
Let the Turkey Rest
Also, don't forget to allow your turkey to rest for about 15-20 minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the juices redistribute for a juicy, tender turkey.
Featured image by Drazen Zigic/Getty Images
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Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Ari Lennox has been heating up Instagram with sensual photos showing off her toned physique. The “Get Close” singer is currently on tour with Rod Wave and is giving us a peek at her show fits, which includes shimmer bikini tops and mini skirts that show off her abs. Ari began her physical transformation in 2021, and while the sultry singer has always gave bawdy, she decided to step her health up a notch. Speaking to Hot 97's Nessa, the “Pressure” artist revealed some of the ways she likes to stay in shape.
Ari Lennox On Her Fitness Regimen
“While I was in California, I was hiking a lot. I found an amazing trail. Shoutout to my tour manager, Jess. She put me onto this amazing trail called Temescal trail, and I fell in love with it,” she said. “But I was pissed the first time because it’s so strenuous, but then I’m like, ‘Oh, this is doing something, this is good. The more strenuous, the better. That is my thing, but I prefer doing it in mountainous areas like California.”
As she continued talking about hiking, she also dished on her other go-to moves, which included a popular YouTuber’s workout videos. “So, I do like it, but if I’m not there, then I like walking in nature like that’s my exercise,” she said. “Like that, and Grow with Jo. Like she has dope HIIT workouts on YouTube. I like those, and then I’ve been doing jumping jacks lately.”
Ari Lennox On Her Sobriety
Keeping her body in motion is one important factor in staying healthy, but so is giving up alcohol. The Grammy-nominated artist is 11 months sober and opened up about her sobriety in a vulnerable July Instagram post. While talking to Nessa, Ari delved deeper into what sparked her sobriety and why she decided to share it with the world. “I just wasn’t able to protect myself in so many wild ways. So many sad ways, dark ways. I was not able to protect myself, and it was crazy because I was thinking that I was,” she admitted.
“I was thinking that I was in so much control, and I literally was in a space where I was allowing so many devils to come in and just take advantage of me ‘cause I was just not there. I was just not there. I wasn’t able to protect me, so now I’m in a space where it feels good to protect me, and it’s like, wow, this seems a lot more in control than I thought drinking was.”
Feature image by Jeremychanphotography/Getty Images