How Long to Cook a Stuffed Turkey in the Oven

Introduction

If there’s one thing that can ruin Thanksgiving, it’s overcooked turkey. With all the other dishes you’re making for your feast, it can be easy to forget about the turkey as it cooks in the oven. But if you don’t check on your bird regularly, you could end up with a dry, tough mass of meat instead of juicy perfection. So how long should you leave your turkey in the oven? And what else should you know about cooking stuffed turkey?

How Long to Cook a Turkey

To figure out how long to cook a turkey, you’ll need to know what type of meat thermometer you’re using. Turkey breasts should be cooked until they reach 165 degrees F, while turkey legs and thighs should be cooked until they reach 180 degrees F. If you are unsure of how accurate your meat thermometer is or if it isn’t working properly, use an instant-read digital thermometer instead.

If you don’t have access to any sort of thermometer at all (or if it’s broken), there are other ways to tell when your bird is done:

  • The skin will turn golden brown and begin cracking around its entire surface.
  • When poked with a fork or knife blade in several places along the breastbone line (not through the flesh), juices should run clear–not pink–and not pool up around punctures; this indicates that bacteria have been killed off by heat exposure during cooking time.*

As with all recipes, stuffing times will vary from oven to oven, so we recommend that you start checking for doneness at the hour and a half mark.

As with all recipes, stuffing times will vary from oven to oven. We recommend that you start checking for doneness at the hour and a half mark. If your turkey is still not done after 2 hours, continue cooking until your turkey reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of its breast or thigh (the temperature should register on an instant-read thermometer). For safety reasons, it’s important not to overcook a stuffed turkey; if it gets above 165 degrees F before reaching temp in those areas then take it out immediately!

The best way to ensure your turkey is cooked thoroughly is to use a meat thermometer. Inserted into the thickest part of the breast, it should read 165 degrees F when the turkey is done. A regular instant-read thermometer will not be accurate enough.

The best way to ensure your turkey is cooked thoroughly is to use a meat thermometer. Inserted into the thickest part of the breast, it should read 165 degrees F when the turkey is done. A regular instant-read thermometer will not be accurate enough. If you don’t have one, check for doneness by using a fork to pierce the thickest part of each thigh–if it’s cooked through and no pink remains in either leg muscle (or if you’re unsure about whether or not there’s still pink), then chances are good that all other parts of your bird have reached safe temperatures as well.

how-long-to-cook-a-stuffed-turkey-in-the-oven

Keep an eye on your turkey!

The best way to ensure your turkey is cooked thoroughly is to use a meat thermometer. Inserted into the thickest part of the breast, it should read 165 degrees F when the turkey is done.

If you don’t have a thermometer handy, or if you want to take an extra step in making sure your bird is ready for carving (and eating!), check for doneness at the hour and a half mark by inserting an instant-read thermometer into two different places on each side of the breast: one near where it meets its neck and another near where it meets its thigh. If both read 165 degrees F or higher, then congratulations! You’ve got yourself some good eatin’.

Conclusion

So there you have it! The best way to cook a stuffed turkey in the oven. We hope this article has been helpful and as always, feel free to leave us comments below with any questions or concerns about how long it takes for your turkey to cook.

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