How Long to Cook a 23 Pound Turkey


Cooking a turkey is a big job, but it’s not as hard as you might think. And in fact, if you follow these instructions carefully and use your oven wisely, your bird will turn out tender, moist and delicious every time.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. This is the temperature for cooking a turkey, and you want to make sure your turkey comes out juicy and delicious. If you are using a roasting pan, place the turkey in it breast side up; if you are using an aluminum foil pan (like me), place it breast down so that all of its juices stay inside while cooking.

Place the turkey in a roasting pan or a heavy-duty aluminum foil pan, breast side up.


Place the turkey in a roasting pan or a heavy-duty aluminum foil pan, breast side up. If you have one, use a roasting rack to keep the bird from sticking to the bottom of your pan and allow air circulation around it. If using aluminum foil, make sure to spray it with nonstick cooking spray before placing your turkey on top for easy cleanup later!

Rub the outside of the breast with 2 tablespoons butter.

Rub the outside of the breast with 2 tablespoons butter. The skin is a great source of protein, so try to leave as much on there as possible when it’s time to carve up your turkey. You’ll also want to rub oil or butter onto the skin before cooking–this helps it brown, which means more flavor in your meat!

Stuff the cavity with sliced onion and celery, add minced garlic if desired.

Stuffing is a key component of your turkey, so it’s important to make sure that it’s cooked properly. Stuffing should be moist, but not soggy; cooked to 165 degrees; and cooked in a separate pan from the turkey itself.

Baste with lemon juice and melted butter mixture, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary if desired.

Basting is important because it keeps the skin from drying out and helps keep the turkey moist. If you don’t have a baster, use a turkey wing to baste the turkey.

Cook until thermometer inserted into center of breast meat registers 165 degrees F for 15 minutes per pound, basting occasionally with pan juices during cooking time. Depending on the size of your bird, this will take from 4 to 5 hours depending on what size you are using but generally they say that 18 pounds is average size so plan accordingly.

To cook a turkey, you’ll need to know the size of your oven and the capacity of your bird. The type of oven is also important: if yours has convection features, use them! A 23-pound turkey will take about 4 1/2 hours at 350 degrees F in an 18″x26″ roasting pan with foil overtop (to prevent browning).

After it’s cooked, let it rest for 15 minutes before carving so that all those juicy juices stay put inside the meat instead of running out onto plates full of stuffing and gravy when you serve dinner later on.


So there you have it, the long and short of cooking a 23 pound turkey. I hope this guide has helped you in your quest to cook this massive bird. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!

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