From Proud Family Farms

Providing the Best for You & Your Family

Mary's Free-Range Turkeys

Turkey Tips

What Size Turkey Should I Buy?

We recommend allowing about 2 pounds per person. This will provide plenty of turkey for dinner as well as leftovers. In our home, there is nothing better than a cold turkey sandwich!

Turkey Thawing Hints from The National Turkey Federation

Turkeys can be thawed using one of three methods, but the most fool proof is in the refrigerator.  The key to this method is to plan ahead and allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird weight for thawing in the refrigerator.  This method is the safest and will result in the best finished product.  Place the bird in the original wrapping, on a shallow baking sheet in the refrigerator.  The following chart provides good guidelines for thawing times:

REFRIGERATOR Turkey Thawing Time (40 degrees F.) The bags are so thick, the turkey may not thaw enough in a refrigerator.  Check and use cold water method below if this happens.

8 to 12 Pounds1 to 2 Days
12 to 16 Pounds2 to 3 Days
16 to 20 Pounds3 to 4 Days
20 to 24 Pounds4 to 5 Days

COLD WATER Turkey Thawing Time.  If you need to thaw the turkey more quickly, you may thaw the bird in cold water, in the original wrapping. The cold water must be changed every 30 minutes. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound using this method. Never leave Turkey unattended for more than 1 hour.  Never overnight in sink. Never let turkey get warm.

 8 to 12 Pounds4 to 6 Hours
12 to 16 Pounds6 to 8 Hours
16 to 20 Pounds8 to 10 Hours
20 to 24 Pounds10 to 12 Hours

Roasting Instructions

PREPARATION BEFORE ROASTING YOUR TURKEY

Meat thermometers and some cookbooks say to cook a turkey until 185-190 degrees. Plainville Farms Turkeys are not injected with any liquids or additives. To keep a Plainville Farms Turkey juicy and tender, cook the turkey to 165-170 degrees. The turkey will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven. The high temperatures in cookbooks and thermometers were created after the large poultry scare 30 years ago.

The USDA today says that all bacteria are killed at 165 degrees. Cooking your turkey to our temperatures will leave it tender and moist. If you overcook a turkey, it will be dry and tough. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving. This will give you time to finish your meal before eating.

Please remember every oven is different. Using a Thermometer is essential for cooking a moist and tender bird. The time it takes for your turkey to cook also depends on how many times you open the oven. Every time you open the oven, it will extend your cooking time. These roasting times are just an estimate.

We don’t recommend using a Convection Oven, which can cook the turkey too fast and dry it out. Oven Bags are okay to use, but take up to an hour off of your cooking time.

Stuffed Turkey (Done 165-170 degrees in Thigh)

Weight 

8-12

12-14

14-16

16-18

18-20

20-25

25-30

325˚ Roasting Time

1.5 to 2.5 hours

2.5 to 3.0 hours

3.0 to 3.5 hours

3.5 to 4.0 hours

4.0 to 4.5 hours

4.5 to 5.5 hours

5.5 to 6.5 hours

Remember – use a Thermometer 60 minutes before suggested time

NOT Stuffed Turkey (Done 165-170 degrees in Thigh)

Weight 

8-12

12-14

14-16

16-18

18-20

20-25

25-30

325˚ Roasting Time

1.0 to 2.0 hours

2.0 to 2.5 hours

2.5 to 3.0 hours

3.0 to 3.5 hours

3.5 to 4.0 hours

4.0 to 5.0 hours

5.0 to 6.0 hours

Remember – use a Thermometer 60 minutes before suggested time

FOR BEST RESULTS:

  • Remove the Wire that holds the drumsticks together.
  • Place a Thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Watch the turkey closely the last hour.
  • After 145 degrees, the thermometer temperature will rise quickly.
  • Free Range and Organic Turkeys are done between 165-170 degrees in the thigh.
  • Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.