How Long Does It Take to Cook a 13 Pound Turkey


Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and togetherness. It’s also a busy time, which is why it’s important to plan ahead so that you can enjoy the holiday and still have enough time to make your turkey come out perfectly cooked.

Preparing the Turkey

Once you’ve purchased your turkey, it’s time to get started.

  • Remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the turkey. Rinse off any blood that has collected on their surface with cool water, then pat dry with paper towels before seasoning them with salt, pepper and herbs such as sage or thyme.
  • Seasoning is an important step because it helps bring out flavor in meat (and vegetables). If you don’t want to use salt or pepper as a seasoning agent for some reason (such as being on a sodium-restricted diet), there are many alternatives available for purchase at most grocery stores–even online! You could also try adding other seasonings like garlic powder or basil leaves instead of just salt and pepper if that sounds more appealing to you.*

Cooking Times for 13 Pound Turkey

The cooking time for a 13 pound turkey is about 5 hours. The first step in preparing this bird is brining it, which will take about 2 hours. Once you’ve finished with that, roasting your turkey on high heat for 1 hour and 15 minutes should be enough time to cook all of the meat through.

The Best Way to Store a Leftover Turkey


The best way to store a leftover turkey is in the fridge. If you are going to keep it longer than 3 days, freeze it. If you are going to cook it again, then reheat it as soon as possible before serving. If you are not going to cook it again (and this is often the case), then freeze your leftovers immediately after they have cooled down enough that they won’t melt any plastic or glass containers when placed inside them

Plan ahead and your turkey will be done before the early bird specials.

Plan ahead and your turkey will be done before the early bird specials.

First, make sure you have the right size turkey. A 13-pound turkey is large enough to feed a crowd but small enough for most home cooks to handle without feeling overwhelmed. If you’re cooking for a smaller group, try going with a smaller bird like an 8 or 9 pounder instead.

Next up: plan on having plenty of space in your oven once it comes time for roasting that giant turkey! Make sure there’s room between racks so that heat can circulate around everything evenly (this helps keep things from drying out). Also remember that if there isn’t enough room at first glance, consider removing some items from storage cabinets below or above where you’ll be roasting so they don’t block air flow around your bird(s). This step might seem obvious but we promise it makes all the difference come Thanksgiving Day when everyone’s hungry!


If you’re looking to do something different this year, consider roasting a turkey. It’s delicious and easy to make, but it can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. We hope our guide has helped answer any questions that might come up as well as provided some helpful tips for cooking your own 13-pound bird!

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