How Long to Cook 12 Pound Turkey


Cooking a turkey is all about timing. How long (and at what temperature) you cook the bird determines the texture and flavor of the final product. For example, you can go from a juicy, tender turkey to dried-out shoe leather in mere minutes if you cook it too long. So how long do you need to cook a turkey? Read on for my cooking times and tips.

1.5 hours at 325 degrees F

  • 5 hours at 325 degrees F
  • 325 degrees F is the temperature you need to cook a turkey.
  • 1.5 hours is the time you need to cook it at 325 degrees F, which will result in an internal temperature of 180 degrees F when done.

2.5 hours at 300 degrees

You’ll need to cook your turkey at 300 degrees for 2.5 hours if it’s a 20 pound bird and has been stuffed. It should be placed in a roasting pan with 1/2 cup of water, basted every 30 minutes, covered with foil and turned once during cooking time.

2.5 hours at 350 degrees

  • 5 hours at 350 degrees

The temp and time are more important than the weight or size of your turkey. A 12-pounder won’t cook faster than an 8-pounder, and a giant bird will take as long as two smaller ones. Just make sure that you have enough room in your oven (and patience) for it to fit!

3 hours at 325 degrees

If you’re cooking a 12-pound turkey, it will take about 3 hours to reach the internal temperature of 165 degrees. The key is to cook your turkey at 325 degrees for the first 2 hours, then reduce heat to 250 for one hour more. This will ensure that your meat is juicy and tender without being over-cooked or dried out.

The best way to get an accurate temperature reading on your turkey is by using an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of its thigh (not touching bone). You can also use a probe thermometer like this one if you want even more precision!


The longer you cook it the better it’ll be

When it comes to roasting a turkey, the longer you cook it the better. A 12-pound bird is going to take about 4 hours in a 350 degree oven.

If you’re looking for tender meat, juicy meat and flavorful juices then leave your turkey in for as long as possible (upwards of 6 hours). The longer cooking time will allow more moisture to remain inside of each slice of flesh on top of giving everything time to meld together nicely while also letting those spices marinate into every inch of skin! And if all else fails then just try making this recipe again next year with another fresh batch of herbs & spices 🙂


We hope you enjoyed this article on how long to cook 12 pound turkey. It’s a great way to get some extra flavor in your meal, and the longer it cooks the better it’ll be!

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