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Preparing and Cooking Food

Alternative Ways to Cook Turkey

Always make sure whole turkeys reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

Method

Size

Estimated Cooking Time

Notes

Electric Roaster Oven

8 to 24 lbs.

Generally same times as for oven roasting.

Minimum oven temperature 325 °F. Check appliance manual.

Grilling: Covered Charcoal Grill or Covered Gas Grill

8 to 16 lbs.

15 to 18 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.

Air in the grill must maintain 225 to 300 °F; use drip pan.

Smoking

8 to 12 lbs.

20 to 30 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.

Air in the smoker must maintain 225 to 300 °F; use drip pan with liquid.

Deep Fat Frying

8 to 12 lbs.

3 to 5 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.

Oil must maintain 350 °F.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Microwaving

8 to 14 lbs.

9 to 10 minutes per pound on medium (50%) power. DO NOT STUFF.

Use oven cooking bag. Rotate during cooking.

Turkey Thawing Chart

Turkey Size

In the Refrigerator
(Approximately 24 hours
for every 4-5 lbs.)

In Cold Water
(Approximately 30
minutes per lb.)

4 to 12 pounds

1 to 3 days

2 to 6 hours

12 to 16 pounds

3 to 4 days

6 to 8 hours

16 to 20 pounds

4 to 5 days

8 to 10 hours

20 to 24 pounds

5 to 6 days

10 to 12 hours

Ham Cooking Chart

CategoryCutWeight per PoundMinutes Per Pound
Smoked ham, cook-before-eatingWhole, bone in 10 to 14 18 to 20
Half, bone in 5 to 7 22 to 25
Shank or butt portion, bone in 3 to 4 3 to 4
Arm picnic shoulder, boneless 5 to 8 30 to 35
Shoulder roll (butt), boneless 2 to 4 35 to 40
Smoked ham, cookedWhole, bone in 10 to 14 15 to 18
Half, bone in 5 to 7 18 to 24
Arm picnic shoulder, boneless 5 to 8 25 to 30
Canned ham, boneless 3 to 10 15 to 20
Vacuum packed, boneless 6 to 12 10 to 15
Spiral cut, whole or half 7 to 9 10 to 18
Fresh ham, uncookedWhole leg, bone in 12 to 16 22 to 26
Whole leg, boneless 10 to 14 24 to 28
Half, bone in 5 to 8 35 to 40

For country ham (dried, whole or half):

  1. Soak 4 to 12 hours in refrigerator.
  2. Cover with water, then boil 20 to 25 minutes per pound.
  3. Drain, glaze, and brown at 400 °F for 15 minutes.

Meat and Poultry Roasting Chart

If you prefer, you may choose to cook these meats and poultry to higher temperatures.

Category

Meat

Oven Temperature
(°F)

Timing  (Approximate)

Safe Minimum Internal Temperature (°F)

Rest Time

Beef, fresh

rib roast, bone in
(4 to 6 pounds)

325

23 to 25 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

rib roast, boneless, rolled
(4 to 6 pounds)

325

28 to 33 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

round or rump roast
(2 ½ to 4 pounds)

325

30 to 35 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

tenderloin, whole
(4 to 6 pounds)

425

45 to 60 minutes total

145

3 minutes

Lamb, fresh

leg, bone in
(5 to 7 pounds)

325

20 to 25 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

leg, bone in
(7 to 9 pounds)

325

15 to 20 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

leg, boneless, rolled
(4 to 7 pounds)

325

25 to 30 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

Veal, fresh

shoulder roast, boneless
(3 to 5 pounds)

325

35 to 40 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

leg rump or round roast, boneless
(3 to 5 pounds)

325

35 to 40 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

Chicken, fresh

whole roasting hen
(5 to 7 pounds)

350

2 to 2 ¼ hours

165

None

breast, halves, bone-in
(6 to 8 ounces)

350

30 to 40 minutes

165

None

breast, halves, boneless
(4 ounces)

350

20 to 30 minutes

165

None

legs or thighs
(4 to 8 ounces)

350

40 to 50 minutes

165

None

Pork, fresh

Tip: When cooked to safe temperatures, fresh pork may still be pink inside – but it will be safe.

loin roast, bone-in or boneless
(2 to 5 pounds)

325

20 to 30 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

crown roast
(4 to 6 pounds)

325

20 to 30 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

tenderloin
(½ to 1 ½ pounds)

425

20 to 30 minutes total

145

3 minutes

Ham, smoked

fresh, cook-before-eating, bone-in, whole
(10 to 14 pounds)

325

18 to 20 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

fresh, cook-before-eating, bone-in, half
(5 to 7 pounds)

325

22 to 25 minutes per lb.

145

3 minutes

fully cooked, bone-in, whole
(10 to 14 pounds)

325

15 to 18 minutes per lb.

140

None

fully cooked, bone-in, half
(5 to 7 pounds)

325

18 to 24 minutes per lb.

140

None

fully cooked, spiral cut, whole or half
(7 to 9 pounds)

325

10 to 18 minutes per lb.

140

None

For country ham (dried, whole or half):

  1. Soak 4 to 12 hours in refrigerator.
  2. Cover with water, then boil 20 to 25 minutes per pound.
  3. Drain, glaze, and brown at 400 °F for 15 minutes.
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