How Long to Cook a Turkey at 275°F (For Tender Juicy Meat)

Are you considering cooking your turkey at 275°F? Perfect! 275°is the correct temperature to cook the turkey at to get juicy meat and crispy skin!

Understanding the temperature in your cooking process sets a baseline. Which enables you to calculate the cooking time

So you can be another step closer to your delicious turkey. Let’s find out how long it takes to cook a whole fresh turkey at 275°F.


How Long Does a Turkey Cook Per Pound at 275°F

Turkey cooks at a rate of 20-25 minutes per pound at 275°F.

So the golden question. How do we work out the length of cooking time?


Know the Exact Weight

Make sure you know the number of pounds of turkey you have! This will be on the packaging for a shop-bought bird.

I recommend you buy fresh and free range from a butcher. If you do, get them to confirm the weight. Just make sure you don’t cook a turkey over 15 lbs. It can spend too long in the danger zone. You are better off cooking two turkeys at once.

What Is the Cooking Time per Pound?

Turkey cooks at a rate of 20-25 minutes per pound at 275°F.

Let’s say you have a 12-pound turkey and have set your smoker or oven temperature to 275°F.

To be on the safe side we will work it out in 25 minutes.

25 x 12 = 300 minutes.

Wait until a temperature reading of 275°F before putting it in your cooking device.

It is that simple!

Note: I always reccomend using a probe or instant-read thermometer.

When measuring the internal temperatures of your meat.

This is the safest way to know when you can consume.

Place at least 2 in the thickest part of your entire turkey.

The breast meat and the thigh or legs.


Why Are We Cooking Turkey at 275°F?

Today we are focusing on cooking at a temperature of 275°F. This consistent temperature has been tried and tested for turkey.

Deemed the correct cooking temperature to achieve greatness!

Not too high that we need to worry about a burned outside and underdone inside. Not too low so there is the a long time between the different types of meat cooking.

This is a big bird and you want to ensure it cooks thoroughly to avoid any nasty illnesses. There is also a risk of serving your guests a dry turkey.


What Internal Cooking Temperature Does the Meat Need to Be?

You are monitoring 2 internal temperatures on your digital meat thermometer.

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

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


The Optimum Temperature Ranges

The standard temperature range is 20°F above or below your set temperature.

This will depend on what you are using to cook the turkey.

Cooking on a Pellet Smoker

My favorite way to cook an entire bird. Set the temperature and the start-up procedure.

A pellet smoker uses probes to measure the cooking temperature. If your probes are accurate, they will maintain the heat according to the above ranges.

Cooking in a Conventional Oven

Set your oven to fan mode and the required temperature of 275°F.

Wait until it has hit the desired temperature before adding your turkey.

Be careful not to keep opening the door as this can drastically reduce the heat.


Calibrating a Temperature Probe

Having an accurate meat thermometer and ambient grill temperature probe is key.

Not only for working out the cooking time but also for food safety reasons.

To work out the cooking time you need to know you are cooking at 275°F!

To calibrate and be sure you know the actual temperature, do the following;

– Fill a glass with ice and top it up with cold water.

– Wait 2 minutes.

– Place the probe at the bottom of the glass.

– Wait 5 minutes.

– If the probe reads over 5°F then it is faulty.

Turkey Meat – What You Need to Know Before Cooking

The size and internal temperature(s) of your meat help you estimate the cooking time.

The average is a 15-pound turkey, but can get much bigger!

Classic roasted turkey has a natural gamey flavor.

Did you know turkey consists of two different types of meat? The white meat in the breast and dark meat in the legs and thighs. This is important to know as they both have separate cooking times. As the internal temperatures in these cooked turkey cuts are different.

Not sure how far in advance you can buy your turkey? If you’re buying your fresh turkey from the store, you’ll probably want to eat it within 3-5 days. This is a good rule of thumb even if the best-by date is a week away.

Tips for Cooking a Turkey

We now know how to work out the approximate times when cooking a turkey at 275°F.

I want to share with you my turkey tips for achieving crispy skin and keeping the meat moist.

All with a delicious flavor!

– Buy fresh and free range.

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

– Use a smoker with chips for a smoky flavor.

– Spatchcock your turkey before smoking it, this will ensure an even cook.

– Use a spice rub with brown sugar to help form a crispy skin by caramelization.

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 cook time.

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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