The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Time to Defrost

A turkey will be frozen solid when purchased, so don't forget to defrost prior to trying to cook it:

  • 8-12 lbs = 2 Days
  • 13-16 lbs = 3 Days
  • 17-20 lbs = 4 Days
  • 21-24 lbs = 5 Days


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put the turkey in for one hour.
  3. Turn the temperature down to 200
  4. Continue cooking for six to eight hours AND until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


Don't place stuffing in the turkey. It messes with cooking times and won't reach the necessary cooking temperature. You may have successfully done this in the past, but eventually, you'll die...possibly related to the stuffing.

The "Danger Zone" for Turkeys, according to Kenny Loggins, is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to not leave the bird between these two temperatures for very long due to exponential bacteria growth. This is the reason that you start off cooking at 400 degrees for the first hour, as otherwise it won't reach a safe temperature for far too long. People are unlikely to return to your Thanksgiving dinner the following year, if you poisoned the previous group.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey