Most of us usually associate turkey with Thanksgiving, or a special holiday or event. This means that you probably do not tend to cook it very often, but turkey is a nice dish for lunch, especially for big gatherings.
To bake the perfect turkey for lunch or dinner, you have to keep in mind many things. One of the most important parts of cooking is baking the turkey.
The temperature that the turkey is baked is very important for the meat to be prepared properly and is good for eating. However, what is the perfect temperature? Is it somewhere between 325 and 350? Or maybe more?
The best way to do it is slow and low, meaning 325 is better than 350. There is no problem baking it at 350 as well, but no more than that. More than 350 degrees means burned and dry meat.
Further, here we have gathered all of the useful tips for you to try and bake the most delicious turkey. We’ve also added a few extra tips, so scroll down and find out more!
Cooking A Turkey
Before we get into the cooking part and the temperature, there are a few tips and tricks that you know to prepare the turkey.
An important part to cook a nice turkey dish is to prepare it beforehand. Afterward, you need to decide on the right temperature.
Tips before roasting:
1. Thaw the turkey
It’s recommended for the turkey to be thawed beforehand. And the perfect way to do it is to place it in the fridge. The hours and days depending on how big the turkey is.
So, the bigger the turkey the longer it will take.
Actually, it can last up to a week in the fridge in order to be thawed properly, however, if you are short on time, you can cook it unthawed.
2. Butter up, season, and add aroma to the turkey
To make your turkey even better you can rub butter all over the meat. Add under the skin, from the neck down, and do it slowly, because you don’t want to tear up the skin.
Seasoning is also very important. You can add kosher salt and other types of seasoning. Also, if you don’t want anything else, only salt, that is also completely fine.
3. Stuff the turkey
Stuffing the turkey is not necessary but is a good way to add a nice touch to your dish. You can always cook it aside, like a casserole dish. The richness of the flavors will complete the whole dish.
Aromatics can also make it more flavourful, so add some thyme, black pepper, parsley, or other seasonings that you enjoy regularly.
Do You Cook The Turkey At 325 Or 350?
In the meantime, while you are getting the turkey ready for baking, you have to prepare the oven as well. You need to preheat the oven before putting the turkey in. So here it raises the question: should you bake it at 325 or 350?
The simplest way to start is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The oven that you have has a major role here, because it depends on how strong it is.
The rule of thumb is to do it “low and slow”. However, it is better is to bake it at 325 and count 13 minutes per pound. This way you will know how much time you’ll need to bake the turkey.
Another tip is to have your thermometer with you, so you can check the temperature from time to time. Slow and steady, the skin will get brown. But you have to make sure that the meat is cooked on the inside as well.
For example, if you have a 10-pound turkey it should take on average around 2 and a half or three hours to be baked properly. The bigger the turkey the longer it will take to make it.
Start with a minimum and then increase in order to kill all bacteria that may occur. To make sure that the turkey is done on the inside, check the juices. They should be clear instead of pink.
Now that we know what is the best way to bake the turkey and at what temperature, we have a few extra tips that will help you make your turkey even better:
Tip 1: If your turkey is not thawed, you had no time or forgot to do it, no need to panic.
Cooking the turkey while frozen is completely normal. It may take a bit more time than usual to cook it but it’s not impossible.
It will take 50% more than you should’ve cooked it, at a temperature of 325 degrees. You can’t deep fry it, so don’t even think about it. Calculate for around 5 or 6 hours of cooking for a 14-pound turkey.
Also, seasoning won’t be possible while it is frozen, so you have to bake it a bit until it’s thawed and then add your seasoning. Stick to 325 degrees and check the temperature with a thermostat in the meantime while it is cooking.
Tip 2: You can also cover the turkey with aluminum foil.
This way you will deflect the heat at the very beginning when you place the turkey in the oven. Afterward, you should remove it, halfway through baking so you can let the skin turn brown.
Tip 3: When the turkey is baked, you should leave it for at least 20 minutes to rest before you cut it.
This way you will let the juices settle, so the meat will be tender, tasty, and tender. You can add foil and leave the turkey for at least 40 minutes to be warm.
Is it better to cook a turkey at 325 or 350 degrees?
It’s better to take it slow and increase if necessary. Start at 325 and use a thermometer. Do not increase by more than 350. Otherwise, you will dry the meat.
Do you cook a 16 lb turkey at 325 or 350?
You can make a calculation, meaning if the turkey is around 15-16 pounds, roast on 325 for 3 and a half hours or 4 hours. Or at 350 for 3 and a half hours.
How long do I cook a turkey on 325?
Everything depends on how much the turkey weighs.
For example, if you roast a 12-pound turkey on 325 you’ll need 3 hours to make it perfect. The bigger the turkey the longer it will take to be roasted.
If it’s about 20 pounds, it will take 4 hours to cook on 325.
Is 350 a good temperature to cook a turkey?
The best way to roast the turkey is to do it at a temperature between 325 and 350, but no more. However, it depends on your oven and how much the turkey weighs.