Whether you just fancy a turkey for dinner, or it's thanksgiving and you are preparing the traditional turkey meal, you will need to get the cooking time right. Different sizes of turkey take different lengths of time to cook, and while an overcooked, dry turkey is not a very tasty meal, the alternative - an undercooked turkey and the risk of food poisoning, is even less attractive. While steaks are OK to consume rare, poultry has a much higher risk of disease from being consumed undercooked.
What to Consider
The cooking time of a turkey depends on several factors, including the method of cooking, the dish used to cook it, the size, and whether or not the turkey is being cooked from frozen or fresh.
You can get guideline cooking times from most cookbooks, and many cookery websites offer calculators that will help you work out how long the turkey will take to cook. For more details www.cooking-groundbeef.com .The standard times are usually based on weight, and whether or not the turkey is fresh or frozen. Don't forget to adjust the time - fan assisted ovens, for example, usually cook more quickly than non fan ovens.
There is one other option worth considering. You can the turkey hot line which several manufacturers have started and ask an expert what they think the best turkey cooking time is. For more details www.cat-head-biscuit.com .Bear in mind however, that there are many variables which have an effect on the required cooking time, so it is always best to check the internal temperature of the turkey with a cooking thermometer. Don't just set the timer and forget about it.
A Simple Guideline
As a rule of thumb, a 10 to 20 pound turkey should be cooked after being roasted for five hours. A bigger bird - in the 20 to 30 pound range, will need six hours of roasting time. If possible, don't just rely on those numbers - try to use a meat thermometer to test the turkey - a fully cooked turkey should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Remember to baste the turkey often - or cook it in a roasting bag, so that it stays moist and does not dry out. The main course is the most important part of the meal, unless, of course, you are happy to just order pizza to replace it if it doesn't work out!
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