How Long to Cook a Turkey at 325 Degrees (For A Perfectly Cooked Turkey)

Are you planning to cook a delicious turkey at 325°F but not sure how long it will take? Planning is easier knowing how many hours of cooking you have.

You just need help with the right formula, so you can manage the cooking method for this bird to perfection!


How Long Does It Take to Cook a Turkey at 325°F?

At a temperature of 325°F,  the cooking time for a turkey is 20 – 25 minutes per pound. There are also some considerations when planning your cook.


How to Calculate Cooking Turkey at 325°F

Below are some of the things you need to think about when cooking your turkey at 325°F

Know the Exact Weight of Your Turkey

Knowing the exact weight of your turkey is key for the calculation. If you have brought it to a supermarket, then it will be on the packaging. If you buy it from the butcher make sure you ask what the weight is.

You also may want to consider if it has been frozen, a defrosted turkey will lose around 2-3 pounds.


What Are You Cooking On?

There is a variety of cooking equipment that you can cook a turkey in, we usually use our gas smoker. But let’s say you are used to cooking in a conventional oven. The conventional oven can get up to temperature quickly and can hold a more consistent temperature.

Setting & Monitoring the Temp of 325°F

You can set a convection oven to the exact heat but not a smoker. Does your device have a temperature gauge? Or will you have to use an instant-read thermometer and adjust yourself?

Calculating Approximate Times at 325°F

If you have an 18-pound turkey and planning on cooking it at a temperature of 325°F.

18 x 20 = 360 minutes. (6 hours)

What Internal Temperature Does Turkey Need to Be?

You are monitoring 2 internal temperatures on your meat thermometer.

The food thermometer in the dark thigh meat should read 180°F.

The food thermometer in the white breast meat should read 160°F.


Other Considerations That Affect the Cooking Time

Below is some food for thought as to why you could have less or extra cooking time.

Are You Cooking a Frozen Turkey?

Always defrost a turkey thoroughly before cooking, this is very important as you can’t cook a partially defrosted turkey.

Defrosting a Raw Turkey

– Defrost refrigerated while still in the packaging at a rate of 30 mins per pound at 4°F.

– Fill your sink with cold water and submerge the turkey – replace the water every 30 minutes.

Tip: The minimum temperature to defrost a turkey is 39°F.

Any higher and you increase your chances of food poisoning.

How Will I Know My Raw Turkey Is Defrosted?

The turkey flesh should have a little bounce to the touch, a good tip is to try and move the wings to judge the wiggle room. They will move freely and without any sound, this is a good indication you no longer have frozen meat.

Environmental Factors

If you are cooking outside in extreme weather it will affect the cooking time. If it’s too hot can speed up while too cold can slow down the cooking process.


Dirty Equipment

Dirty equipment will impact the cooking time.

Especially the temperature probes.

– Maintain and clean the temperature probes after each cook.

– Check for faulty components and replace them per instructions.

My Top Cooking Techniques For Turkey

Brine your turkey with a kosher salt and water solution the night before.

– If you’re smoking your turkey, pick use fruitwoods such as cherrywood and applewood.

– Apply a binder before you use a spice rub. To get golden brown skin on your turkey add sugar to your rub, this will caramelize when the turkey is cooking.

– Wrap the turkey breast in tin foil while you wait for the internal temp of the dark meat.

– Use a probe as well as the time formula for measuring at 325°F.


Food Safety Questions Answered For Cooking Poultry

– Pay attention and wash any surfaces or utensils you have used when handling raw meat.

– Always thaw turkey refrigerated.

Don’t leave raw or cooked meat out of the refrigerator for more than 30 minutes.

– Do not attempt to thaw in hot water.

– Cook the thawed meat within 2 days.

– Use a meat thermometer to measure internal temperatures accurately.

– Do not try and cook in extreme weather conditions.

– Do not cook on a faulty device.

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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