How Long To Cook A 17Lbs Turkey

Here is our super basic, super simple, super easy recipe for roasting a super beautiful turkey.

Whether you’re roasting a whole turkey for the first time, or just need your annual Thanksgiving and holiday-season refresher, this guide will help you through the steps to a perfect turkey: Crispy skin, tender meat, well seasoned, and so delicious you’ll wonder why you waited a year to eat it again. This is the easiest, simplest way to roast a turkey.

This method will work with any turkey: Big or small, brined or not, free-range or otherwise. Cooking times will vary, but the basic technique will be the same. For reference, the turkey in the photos was a pre-brined 16-pound turkey from Williams-Sonoma.

How Long Does It Take to Cook a Turkey?
Turkey Weight Cooking Time Doneness Temperature
4-6 lb. breast 1 hr 30 mins–2 hrs 15 mins 165°F
6-8 lb. breast 2 hrs 15 mins–3 hrs 15 mins 165°F
8-12 lbs. 2 hrs 45 mins–3 hrs 170-175°F
12-14 lbs. 3 hrs–3 hrs 45 mins 170-175°F

How Long to Cook a Turkey

Follow this chart for turkey cooking times based on the size of your bird. All cook times are based on placing a whole unstuffed turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and into a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven.

Turkey Weight Servings Cooking Time

10 to 12 lb

6 to 8

2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours

12 to 14 lb

8 to 10

2 3/4 to 3 hours

15 to 18 lb

10 to 12

3 1/4 to 4 hours

18 to 20 lb

12 to 14

4 to 4 1/4 hours

20 to 22 lb

14 to 16

4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours

23 to 24 lb

16 to 20

5 to 5 1/4 hours

Important Notes:

  • Turkey is done at an internal temperature of 165 degrees F
  • Allow the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving and serving
  • Using an oven thermometer ($7; Target) and a meat thermometer to get accurate temperature readings is recommended
  • The general rule is 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person, depending on how much you love leftovers! If youre not going to make turkey soup or sandwiches, 1 pound per person is all you will need. If you look forward to leftovers almost as much as the main event, definitely go for 1 1/2 pounds per person. See our Turkey Buying Guide for more tips.

    Keep in mind a whole turkey can take several days to thaw and the above cooking times are for a completely defrosted bird. In general, after placing the turkey in the refrigerator you need 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 pounds of turkey, but if its Thanksgiving morning and your turkey is still frozen solid — dont worry, you have options! Our Turkey Thawing Guide walks you through three different methods for thawing turkey safely.

    How Long To Cook A 17Lbs Turkey

    Credit: Meredith

    How to Cook a Turkey in Five Easy Steps

  • Prep Remove the packet of giblets from the cavity of the bird and save them for gravy or stuffing. Next, use paper towels to pat dry the bird inside and out.
  • Truss & BrushTie drumsticks together with string, and brush the skin with melted butter or oil. See how to truss a turkey.
  • RoastPlace the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, and into a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven and follow the cooking times above based on the weight of your bird.
  • Tent & BasteRoast until the skin is a light golden color, then cover the breast loosely with a foil tent to prevent further browning. During the last 45 minutes of roasting, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but does help promote even browning.
  • Rest, Then CarveWhen the turkey is done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, and makes for easier carving.
  • Get more tips and expert advice in our How to Cook a Turkey guide.


    Do you cook a turkey at 325 or 350?

    If you’re determined to stuff the turkey, you’ll want to leave it in the oven at 325°F for 20-25 minutes per pound, and cover the turkey (especially the wings and drumsticks) with a loose tent of aluminum foil to keep them from drying out or burning.

    How long do you cook turkeys per pound?

    The simplest way to figure out turkey roasting times is to calculate 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey (that’s about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-lb. turkey), or 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.

    How long does a 14 lb turkey take to cook at 325?

    Assuming you are roasting your turkey in a 325°F oven, plan on 15 to 17 minutes of cooking time for each pound of an unstuffed turkey. Plan on 20 to 22 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey. 8-12 lb. 12-14 lb.

    How long do you cook a 17 lb turkey at 325 degrees?

    For an unstuffed turkey (fresh or defrosted), the general rule is about 15 minutes per pound at a 325°F regular oven according to the USDA. If you’re using a convection oven, your turkey will cook slightly faster.

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