specifically, how long do I cook a 32 pound turkey in the oven

I have the probe thermometer and will wait until the temp is 165 but I would like to get an idea of when the 33 of us will eat

  • Posted by: Betsy
  • November 15, 2017


Bev November 16, 2017
Has anyone ever found a roaster that is not too tall and will handle a bird this big? If it's too crowded in the pan it doesn't cook well. Bigger than you can find in any of the kitchen stores, online etc.

PHIL November 16, 2017
Hi Lisanne, Since you are not making a huge bird it's not that big a deal to get it cooked evenly but I can make multiple items in my oven if the turkey is flat and it comes out better. Also, less cooking time frees up the oven sooner. Since I carve the turkey before putting it on the table I don't care about showing off the whole bird. Almost forgot , its fits in the fridge easier and easier to brine. All in all I prefer it now.
MMH November 15, 2017
Spatchcocking works so well. Do it. Use a good pair of poultry shears to cut out the back. Use the back for your stock. When you flatten the bird, it's all even and will cook more quickly and evenly. I roast mine on a rimmed sheet pan. If you do this, you will never do it any other way. We roast 2 which are about 10-12 # so we have 2x as much leftovers. Try it and good luck!

Voted the Best Reply!

PHIL November 15, 2017
I make a big Turkey also, about 25 lbs. In order to save time and cook it more evenly and quickly I spatchcock it. You cook it in half the time and you have lots of room int he oven. see video here: https://www.nytimes.com/video/dining/100000002547372/how-to-spatchcock-a-turkey.html
creamtea November 15, 2017
Phil, although I do chicken this way, have never done turkey. I figured it will be harder to cut through the backbone, and that it will take up more space widthwise. I buy about a 12-15 lb bird. My roasting pan is 11 x 16. wondering if I should try...I have been doing it the same way for years, never had a problem with drying out. Will a standard roasting pan work? I have no room for a new one.
HalfPint November 15, 2017
According to USDA and Butterball, an un-stuffed turkey will take about 7-8 hours at 325F. It's about 15 minutes per pound. Butterball further adds that turkey is done when the thigh registers at 165F or the breast at 180F.
702551 November 15, 2017
If you cook the turkey breast to 180F, it will be dry as cardboard. Furthermore, the thigh should reach a higher temperature than the breast.

Optimally the breast should read at 150F when you pull the turkey out of the oven, the thighs should be at least 165F.

You can always throw the thighs back in the oven to cook more if they are underdone, but there's no cure for overcooked breast meat.
HalfPint November 16, 2017
Just stating what was written.
702551 November 16, 2017
OK, I looked at the Butterball site and they have temperatures different that what you communicated here. Butterball says 170 degrees for the breast and 180 degrees for the thigh.


Source: Butterball website (www.butterball.com)

As for the USDA, that's fine if you want to quote them. They have been telling us to overcook pork for decades.

Turkey breast that is cooked to 180F is worthy of being thrown in the garbage, a complete waste of time and dollars.

The original poster will have to think wisely about which online recommendation to follow, yours, mine, or someone else (even someone not here on Food52).

Best of luck to all Thanksgiving cooks out there!
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