How Long to Cook 16 Pound Turkey


Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends. For some, it’s also a time to roast an entire turkey. The question remains: How long should you cook your 16-pound turkey?


  • Determine how much turkey you need:
  • Calculate the cooking time:
  • How to determine the right size turkey for your family:
  • How to determine the right cooking temperature:
  • How to determine the right cooking time:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Remove giblets from inside of turkey cavity and discard or save them for another use (e.g., making gravy). Rinse out cavity thoroughly with cold water; pat dry with paper towels before stuffing it full of whatever deliciousness you choose! If using butterflied/carved breast halves instead of whole birds, place each breast half on top of its respective thigh so that there is no gap between them when placed back together again after being cooked through completely by following these steps above; otherwise place two whole legs together side-by-side in an upright position before roasting at 350 F (180 C) until fully cooked through–about 30 minutes per pound depending on how thickly sliced those legs were originally cut off from their bodies originally…

Cooking Time


Cooking a turkey is not a one-size-fits-all process. The size, age and weight of your bird will affect how long it takes to cook.

The good news is that as long as you’ve defrosted your turkey properly (and have allowed plenty of time), cooking time should be fairly consistent each year. It takes about as long for a 16 pound turkey to thaw than it does for an 8 pounder because they both require the same amount of heat input: around 24 hours at 34 degrees F (1 C).

To ensure that your Thanksgiving meal turns out delicious every year–and isn’t ruined by food poisoning–you need to make sure your oven temperature is set correctly before putting anything inside it. Your oven should be between 325 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit (163-177 Celsius). If this sounds high, don’t worry; most ovens come with a built-in thermostat which automatically regulates heat levels based on what setting you choose on its dials!

The Perfect Turkey Starts With Perfect Ingredients

So you have your turkey and all the ingredients, but how long will it take to cook? Well, that depends on a few factors:

  • How much space do you have in your oven? If there’s not enough room for the turkey to spread out and get crispy skin, then it’s going to take longer than if everything were nice and cozy.
  • How big is your turkey? A 16 pounder won’t be done any sooner than a smaller one–it just may need more time because of its size. It also might mean more oil or butter for basting purposes depending on what cut of meat you bought (more on this later).

The right ingredients are key to the perfect turkey.

The right ingredients are key to the perfect turkey.

Use fresh ingredients

  • Fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, add flavor to your stuffing. Don’t forget about sage leaves for sage-flavored stuffing or dried cranberries for a sweet touch.
  • Use real butter instead of margarine so you can tell when it’s melted enough to drizzle over the breast meat during cooking time (about 10 minutes per pound). This will help keep moisture inside the bird while it roasts at 350 degrees F., which helps prevent drying out during baking or frying processes later on down road!


While it’s not always possible to buy organic, free-range turkey, it is important to use the best ingredients you can find. The quality of your turkey will make a difference in flavor and texture, so don’t skimp on price or quality!

Related Posts