How Long to Cook a 20 Pound Turkey? Crazy Tips!

Consider the following scenario: It is a Holiday morning. You’ve spent hours, if not days, preparing. You’ve set out the Thanksgiving table setup and Thanksgiving decorations.

Soon, friends and relatives will arrive in the driveway. You’re designing a couple of fall cocktail recipes.

You even have a fire going in the fireplace.

You have Thanksgiving potluck style this year. You’ve invited friends to bring their preferred Thanksgiving meals and desserts.

When guests arrive, you have to roll out the bar cart and introduce the big draw at dinner: that golden brown, cooked-to-perfection 20 lb turkey that everybody looks forward to!

Your dinner will go off without a hitch if you plan ahead and create a schedule for cooking the juicy turkey. Giving your 20lb turkey more time to prepare and cook is always better than providing it with less time.

A hungry crowd won’t be happy if you start your feast later than planned.

How Will You Select a Perfect Turkey?

Perfect Turkey

Visit the grocery store the week before Celebrations to ensure you get the most delicate turkey possible. The choice between a fresh and a frozen turkey is a significant one when choosing your bird.

The distinction between a fresh and a frozen turkey is minimal. If you’re in a hurry, a fresh turkey is more practical but more expensive per lb than a thawed one.

On rare occasions, fresh turkeys may include ice crystals that need to thaw. A frozen turkey will work as long as you prepare and give the turkey enough time to thaw.

You should take your guest list into account while choosing a turkey. Determine how much turkey you’ll require according to the number of people that will be at your feast.

Remember that two small turkeys might be more suitable for your requirements than one larger one.

What are the Things Included in the Cheat-Sheet for Turkey Recipes?

Before the procedures for preparing the 20-pound turkey, here are a couple of tips that can help you out with the process.

  • If you’re roasting an empty turkey, you should allow 13 minutes for each pound, and if you’re stuffing it, allow 15 minutes.
  • The oven should be preheated to 450°F. Then after the turkey is inside, the temperature should be reduced to 350°F.
  • When the thickest section of the thigh of the turkey reaches at least 165 degrees, it is finished cooking.
  • Before carving, the turkey must rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.

What You’ll Need for Cooking a Perfect Turkey

  • One 20-pound turkey
  • Aromatics include a cut-into-quarters white onion, three carrots, three celery stalks, and herbs
  • A big, heavily loaded roasting pan with a shelf is required.
  • unseasoned butter
  • finely ground black pepper and kosher salt
  • Twine for baking
  • Foil made of aluminum
  • A meat thermometer that reads instantly

What are the Guides to Turkey Preparation?

Look no further if you’re seeking a traditional roast turkey recipe. All you have to do to prepare the bird for baking is follow the basic instructions below.

Turkey Must be Thawed.

In its original packaging, a frozen turkey can be defrosted in the fridge. Put it on a pan or tray to catch any drips.

For a 20-pound turkey, allow two-three days. Approximately three to four days are needed for 12 to 20 pounds.

Turkey Should be Tempered.

Take the turkey out from the refrigerator an hour before cooking; it will cook more evenly if it isn’t too cold. Place it on a rack for roasting.

No roasting pan? A cooling rack positioned inside a big sheet pan is another option.

Prepare your oven for roasting 15 minutes beforehand. For a turkey, we recommend preheating it to 350°F and cooking it for 13 minutes per lb.

Clean the Turkey.

Take out the giblets right away if you haven’t yet. Additionally, examine the neck cavity.

Save all the necks and giblets if you’d like to use them for broth, stuffing, gravy, or something else.

The odd feather quill may also get lodged inside the bird; you can pull these out using your fingers or some spick-and-span needle-nose pliers.

The turkey doesn’t need to be rinsed, but if you’re taking it out of the package or a wet brine, you should pat it dry with paper or reusable towels before moving on to the next step.

Season From the Inside Out.

Skip this step if you’ve already brined the turkey, whether it was using a wet or dry brine or if you’re using a kosher turkey that has already been seasoned.

If not, sprinkle 4 Tbsp. On the skin and within the cavity of a 14- to 20- lb turkey.

4/12 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal 1/12 tablespoon of Kosher Salt Black pepper that has just been ground.

At this point, you can continue seasoning your mixture with additional ground spices. Choose citrusy coriander or smokey cumin.

Some chefs enjoy adding one or two teaspoons of brown sugar. Although they are unnecessary, these aromatics will help your Thanksgiving recipes for your turkey come alive.

Turkey Stuffing is Optional.

It’s time to stuff your turkey right now. Before roasting the turkey, prepare the stuffing and stuff the cavity.

According to the Epi test kitchen, you typically overcook the turkey when cooking the stuffing inside to a safe temperature. Instead, we advise baking the dressing outside the bird with the stuffing.

Put Some Fat In.

Put Some Fat In

You should apply a coat of oil to the turkey to achieve a stunning bird with crispy, golden-brown skin and luscious meat.

Use mayonnaise, olive oil, unsalted butter at room temperature, canola or safflower oil, or any other neutral oil.

Whatever option you decide on, a 20-pound turkey requires about 15 cups.

The exterior of the turkey can be thoroughly scrubbed with your hands, or you could use a kitchen brush for a more refined finish.

If you want to keep the meat wet while it cooks, you can loosen the skin surrounding the breast and thigh meat.

Doing this will also help the meat cook more quickly.

Turkey Should be Trussed.

Although trussing isn’t strictly necessary, it will assist in securing whatever you’ve placed inside the bird’s cavity and promote even cooking.

A trussed bird will undoubtedly have a slightly more Norman Rockwell-like appearance than an untrussed bird, but that doesn’t matter.

How Should We Roast a Turkey?

Bake the turkey for roughly 15 to 20 minutes per pound. Cover crisped sections with aluminum foil if your bird is roasting unevenly or is golden brown on the exterior but not entirely done inside.

You can use temperature standards to determine when something is done cooking.

How to Determine if a Turkey Is Completely Cooked?

Put a meat thermometer in the thigh’s thickest area. When the turkey reaches 180°F on the thermometer, you know it is thoroughly done. Less fatty breast flesh only needs to reach 170°F.

It still holds if you’re cooking a turkey breast instead of an entire bird.

Final Thoughts

Turkey is favorite sandwich meat and an option to ground beef all year long, but the holidays are when it’s most popular. Most of the world’s turkey meat is produced in the United States.

Every year, about 250,000,000 turkeys are grown for human consumption.

It offers a detailed analysis of the nutritional value of turkey, as well as information on its potential health advantages, the best varieties to buy, wholesome turkey recipes, and any possible health hazards associated with eating this well-liked bird’s meat.

Hi, I love to cook! I have been passionate about cooking for as long as I can remember. My favorite foods are Italian, Mexican, and Indian. I'm not afraid to share my love of cooking with my family, friends & the whole world.

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