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Thread: Turkey roasting time?

  1. #1
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Turkey roasting time?

    I bought a Butterball turkey and read the instructions on the package which said to roast my unstuffed turkey at 325 degrees for 3 1/2 hours. That didn't seem long enough for me, so I checked on the Butterball web site and one of my newer cookbooks and it said the same thing. I have checked my oven with an oven thermometer, so I know it is the correct temp.

    So I decided to up the temp to 350 and roast it for 4 hours. When I took it out the juices ran pink instead of clear. So today I was checking online and in an old Fanny Farmer cookbook and found that the recommended roasting time for a turkey the size I bought was 4 1/2 to 5 hours!

    I can't understand why Butterball recommends a shorter time - unless they think the entire country have replaced their traditional ovens with convection ovens! Hope no one else had this problem on Thanksgiving day - it made dinner a bit later than planned.

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Why don't you call the Butterball Hotline and ask them your question?
    ... and let us know what you find out.

    Did you stuff your turkey?
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    What size was your turkey??

    I'm guessing with the stated time of 3.5 hours your turkey was between 13 and 15 lbs. Cooking time for an un-stuffed turkey is *roughly* 15 minutes/lb. It can be slightly less if you use a closed roaster.

    I brown my turkey first at 500, then cook in a covered roaster at 325 for the remainder of the time. My cooking time is slightly reduced. (This year I cooked a 13 lb Turkey in about 2 3/4 hours total).
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
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    I always bast my breast and cover it with foil and cook the turkey until the joints move freely. If you grasp the end of the drumstick and the whole hips joint moves freely you know the turkey is just about ready to fall off the bones. I go for about 20 minutes per lb. and if the turkey is a little dry, that is what gravy is for.

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    What size was your turkey??

    I'm guessing with the stated time of 3.5 hours your turkey was between 13 and 15 lbs. Cooking time for an un-stuffed turkey is *roughly* 15 minutes/lb. It can be slightly less if you use a closed roaster.

    I brown my turkey first at 500, then cook in a covered roaster at 325 for the remainder of the time. My cooking time is slightly reduced. (This year I cooked a 13 lb Turkey in about 2 3/4 hours total).
    Yes ... we were kind of left in the dark about the size of the bird, weren't we!?

    DHMom ... Your times make total sense to my general rules of thumb for timing too!



    Tartan ... me too! shake hands with that bird and you find out if it's done!
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  6. #6
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    I roast mine at 425 degrees for 25 min. Then turn oven down to 250 degrees...continue roast for 20 min for each pound. Turns out perfect every time. Idea of first 25 mins is to seal in the juices.

  7. #7
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I had a 14.5 lb. Butterball and roasted it for 3.5 hrs. as directed. It was perfectly done, juicy and very succulent. Maybe there's a fluctuation in the oven or the bird still had areas of frost in it? There's nothing fancy about my oven but I know the 325 temp runs true.

  8. #8
    Super Member QuiltingVagabond's Avatar
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    Was it completely thawed? That can make a HUGE difference in cooking time.
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

  9. #9
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    I learned to cook and bake when very little, but the proper procedures I really learned while in Home Ec in High School. One of the most important things the teacher said we had to remember, was to use a meat thermometer. Always. Meat has to reach a certain temp to be safely done. As an example, turkey breast meat can look 'pink' instead of white like we expect it to be, as long as the internal temp is 165-180 degrees. Several years ago we had a Butterball that appeared pinkish in color, but the temp was 170. My DH refused to go near the bird to carve it. He saw pink juices also. We do buy a whole turkey and spend more on breast meat just for him because of this. The bone marrow can cause pink juices near the bones, as well as the bird not completely thawed in the center, but thawed during the cooking process. As long as the center of the breast is 180 and overall temp is 170, the bird is done. I personally don't trust any little blue plastic thing poking out of the bird telling me it is done. A working meat thermometer tells me when to take it out of the oven and let it rest for 30 min.
    Here is a link with a lot of good info:
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FACTSheets/...Safe/index.asp

  10. #10
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    Mine was 22.5lbs and was put in a Reynolds turkey bag at 350* for 3 1/2 hours. Perfect as always.
    Never outsmart your common sense.

    Karen

  11. #11
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    does altitude have any thing to do with cooking times. I know i have to raise the temp since I'm a mile above sea level.

  12. #12
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great insights. My turkey, UNSTUFFED, was 14.9 lbs and was completely thawed. I live about as close to the ocean as you can get here in VA, so it wasn't an altitude problem and I have an oven thermometer and know my oven temp is accurate. I never heard that the meat can be pink and be done. Next year I will try a different method, perhaps an oven bag or starting at a high temp and then lowering it. I've also thought about turning the turkey over and doing it breast down. So, I'll let you all know next year how it turns out.

  13. #13
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    I have always used the 20min per pound,but i also use the turkey rosting bags and have for years.I never get a dry turkey because the juces stay in the bag and you get lots of juices for gravy. It is now said to use two smaller turkeys instead of one lg.It makes since because the timing would be the same for both but not as long as a lrg bird. We are trying it this year since we will be having 12 or more for dinner.
    peanutbrittle

  14. #14
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by alleyoop1 View Post
    Thanks for all the great insights. My turkey, UNSTUFFED, was 14.9 lbs and was completely thawed. I live about as close to the ocean as you can get here in VA, so it wasn't an altitude problem and I have an oven thermometer and know my oven temp is accurate. I never heard that the meat can be pink and be done. Next year I will try a different method, perhaps an oven bag or starting at a high temp and then lowering it. I've also thought about turning the turkey over and doing it breast down. So, I'll let you all know next year how it turns out.
    I got a new stove in March of this year and it was always taking longer to cook things than the old stove. My oven thermometer said it was 25 degrees too low so I then adjusted the temp whenever I used it. I just found that the booklet for my stove tells me how to calibrate it without calling someone in. BUT it also stated not to use an "oven thermometer" such as we all use as it can be off by as much as 45 degrees. So, just how are you supposed to know?
    Well, I adjusted the calibration up by 25 degrees and my turkey cooked in the time I used from the USDA website.
    So, just saying, maybe you should try another oven thermometer. Weirdest thing about my oven was baking cakes, etc seemed to work with the standard timing. It was meats which took the longest before I made any adjustments. I'm just glad the turkey was done ok. It was a little late because I got it into the oven a little late.
    Sally

  15. #15
    Member Annieflower's Avatar
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    I always use the Reynolds Cooking bag too and I stuff the turkey. I roast it at 350* for 2 1/2 hours and it has never failed. I do have an old oven and use a temperature guage to check the oven temp. I double check the bird with a thermometer in the breast part to make sure it's done. The only time I goofed was when I stuffed the turkey and tried roasting it for 8 hrs only to realize I never removed the orginal giblet and gizzard bag that came with the bird. That bird went out with the trash. LOL! Happy Holidays!

  16. #16
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I cheat and get a smoked turkey. The flavor is incredible and, since it's already fully cooked, I just have to heat it up before serving.

  17. #17
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    I've always used the 20 min per lb at 350 as a general guideline. Ultimately, I go by my meat thermometer and not just a time when I cook any meat. Turkey is done at 165 degrees, and the thermometer goes in the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. I always let any meat I cook rest for a bit while covered in foil, and that will raise the temp by at least 5 degrees too.
    Laura

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