How Long Do You Cook a 18 Pound Turkey


When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey is what everyone looks forward to. A good turkey can make or break a holiday meal. That’s why many people are nervous about cooking their first turkey: They don’t want it to be dry or tough! In this post, we’ll walk you through how long you need to cook your 18-pound turkey in order for it to come out perfectly juicy and tender.

Large turkey take longer to cook than smaller ones.

If you’re going to cook a large turkey, make sure you have enough time. The cooking time depends on the size of your turkey, so if you have a smaller one, it will take less time than a larger one.

When buying your turkey make sure that it is fresh and not frozen. If it is frozen, thaw it first in the refrigerator before placing it in hot water or oven to cook

A fresh turkey should be kept in the refrigerator until it is time to cook.

  • A fresh turkey should be kept in the refrigerator until it is time to cook.
  • If you don’t have a refrigerator, keep it in a cool place.
  • If you don’t have a cool place, put it in a cooler with ice.

Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan.


Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. This will keep the bottom of your turkey from getting soggy and make sure that it’s not touching anything else in the pan, like sides or other pieces of food.

Use a roasting pan with at least 2-inch sides so that you don’t have to worry about basting liquid spilling over onto your stovetop while it cooks.

Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before cooking.

Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before cooking. Thawing time varies depending on how large the turkey is and how long it has been frozen. For example, if you use a fresh 18-pound turkey that has been in your freezer for several days, it will take at least 24 hours to thaw completely in the refrigerator. If you’ve forgotten to plan ahead and need to cook a frozen 18-pound turkey immediately after buying it from your local grocery store or butcher shop (which often happens), there are some things that can help speed up this process:

  • Put some ice cubes into an airtight baggie with some water and place them inside of another larger baggie filled with dry uncooked rice. Then place both bags inside of another larger baggie filled with uncaked potatoes; close all three tightly so no moisture escapes through any gaps between them.* Place three metal baking trays full of ice cubes into different locations within your fridge where they won’t be disturbed by other items being moved around during opening/closing doors or drawers.* Add 1 cup white vinegar per gallon of water; stir until combined before placing 5 gallons worth inside one large bowl (or multiple small bowls) so there’s plenty available when needed later on when making gravy.* Covering cooked turplets prevents moisture loss while keeping them warm until serving time!

Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan, just enough to come up halfway around the turkey.

You’ll want to make sure that the turkey is not sitting in water. The water should come up halfway around the turkey, but not more than that. If you use too much water, it will take longer for your turkey to cook and may end up being too dry by the time it’s done.

If you don’t have a roasting pan with a rack (or if yours has been lost or damaged), place two metal baking sheets on top of each other and then place them in your oven before preheating it so they are ready when needed!

Cover with foil and roast at 325 F degrees for 1 hour per pound, plus 20 minutes (example: 20 pounds will take 5 hours). Add more water as needed.

To test doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone. The internal temperature should be 170 F degrees for safe eating.

If you have an oven-safe thermometer, you can also use it to check your turkey’s temperature throughout cooking time. After roasting for 1 hour per pound plus 20 minutes (for example: 20 pounds will take 5 hours), remove foil from turkey and baste with melted butter or olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Cover again with foil and continue roasting until done (about another 20 minutes).

Cooking times vary depending on how large your turkey is

The size of your turkey will also affect how long it takes to cook. The larger the bird, the longer it will need to be in the oven. This is because there is more surface area for heat to penetrate and cook your turkey through.

On top of that, keep in mind that cooking time depends on how hot your oven is set at as well as whether or not you like your poultry rare or well done (or somewhere in between).


If you want to impress your guests, this is the way to go. You can have a delicious meal that will leave them asking what they did wrong so they can make it themselves next year!

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