Cooking Tips

Cooking Turkey

Consumers have so many options available when it comes to turkey cuts! Plus, turkey’s versatility in the kitchen makes this lean protein fit for just as many preparation methods. Refer to the chart below for some quick tips on how to prepare a delicious turkey meal.

Meat Cut
Fried
Grilled
Oven Roasted
Sautéed
Slow Cooker
Smoked
Bone - In - Breast
Fried
X
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Slow Cooker
X
Smoked
X
Bone - In - Thigh
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Slow Cooker
X
Smoked
X
Boneless Breast
Fried
X
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Slow Cooker
X
Smoked
X
Boneless Thigh
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Slow Cooker
X
Smoked
X
Ground Turkey
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Sautéed
X
Leg / Drumstick
Fried
X
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Slow Cooker
X
Smoked
X
Susage / Frank
Fried
X
Grilled
X
Sautéed
X
Slow Cooker
X
Smoked
X
Tenderloin
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Sautéed
X
Smoked
X
Turkey Burger
Grilled
X
Turkey Chop
Fried
X
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Sautéed
X
Turkey Cutlet
Fried
X
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Sautéed
X
Slow Cooker
X
Wing / Drummett
Fried
X
Grilled
X
Oven Roasted
X
Slow Cooker
X
Smoked
X

Preparation Methods

Roasting Turkey

Cook until temperature reaches 165° F. Cooking times are for planning purposes only – always use a meat thermometer to determine if the turkey is done. Use the time chart below to see how long to roast a turkey in an oven at 325° F.

Approximate Turkey Roasting Times at 325°F
Weight (lbs)
Cooking Time (Unstuffed)
Cooking Time (Stuffed)
8 - 12
2.75 - 3 hours
3 - 3.5 hours
12 - 14
3 - 3.75 hours
3.5 - 4 hours
14 - 18
3.75 - 4.25 hours
4 - 4.25 hours
18 - 20
4.25 - 4.5 hours
4.25 - 4.75 hours
20 - 24
4.5 - 5 hours
4.75 - 5.25 hours
24 - 30
5 - 5.25 hours
5.25 - 6.25 hours

Grilling Turkey

Indirect heat is ideal for cooking whole turkeys, which need slower cooking. With indirect heat, the lid is closed and the meat is placed in a tray or on the unlit portion of the grill. Grill the turkey for approximately 12 to 15 minutes per pound, according to the grill manufacturer’s instructions. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the turkey’s internal temperature reaches 165° F.

Deep Frying Turkey

Deep-fried turkey, a concept that started in the South, has risen in popularity nationwide. It’s a perfect twist for holiday feasts, barbecues and block parties. Learn more about how to fry a turkey and find a few tasty recipes as part of “The How-To on Deep Frying Turkey.”

Go back to Turkey in the Kitchen.