A typical 15pounder is slightly above average for a turkey. And if you’re cooking such a size, it means you have a few extra mouths at the table. But since most times, we tend to deal with lesser turkey sizes, you may worry about getting the recipe right. But you don’t have to be, as you’ll learn that cooking a 15-pound turkey is as easy as anything else.
Roasted Turkey Nutrition Facts
First Things First
As is the tradition of roasting turkey in the oven, you’ll have first to follow some procedures;
Thaw-You can let the turkey sit in the fridge for three to four days beforehand. Or, if you’re in a rush, place it in a bowl of cold water and switch the water every 20 minutes. And when it’s thawed, let the turkey sit at room temperature for one hour.
Butter-Rub half a cup (approximately one stick) of salted butter over the turkey. It would help if you also worked it under the skin, but do so carefully, so it doesn’t tear.
To Stuff or Not to Stuff-Consider cooking the stuffing and innards in stock rather than in the cavity. But if you’d prefer to stuff your 15-pound turkey, it’s best to do it with aromatics instead. So, put diced onion, celery sticks, and shallots in the cavity.
View this post on Instagram
15-Pound Turkey Cooking Time
Turkey needs to cook to an internal temperature of 165F to be considered ready, irrespective of the size. But for a 15-pounder, you can follow these oven temperature guidelines;
- 3¾ to 4 hours at 325F
- 3½ to 3¾ hours at 350F
- 3¼ to 3½ hours at 400F
- 3 to 3¼ hours at 425F
But note that letting the internal temperature reach 165F before taking it out may cause the meat to cook further. So, try taking it down at 150F and tent the turkey for 20 minutes. The carryover cooking will then heat the meat to the proper doneness.
Other Cooking Tips
- Try to moisten the turkey by bringing it beforehand. You can also baste it with a combination of its pan juices and melted butter as it roasts. But note that brined turkey won’t need seasoning.
- Also, be sure to rest the turkey for about 20 minutes before you carve. The waiting time allows the juice to be reabsorbed by the meat.
- Save the pan juices to make a delicious serving of gravy you can spoon over the turkey.
View this post on Instagram
What about a Frozen Turkey?
You can toss a frozen 15-pound turkey in the oven and still come out with excellent results. But note that this option extends the cooking time by half, meaning it’ll take about five to six hours.
Start by placing the frozen turkey in a 325F oven, and let it heat for about two to two-and-a-half hours. And when it’s thawed, remove the innards and season as desired. Now, return the turkey to the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 157F. Then, take it out, tent for 30 minutes, so the carryover cooking gets to 165F.Print
- One whole turkey, 15 pounds, thawed,
- Two cups chicken broth, low sodium
- Two teaspoons pepper, ground
- Two teaspoons kosher salt
- One cup unsalted butter, melted
- Sit the turkey at room temperature for 30 minutes and clean out the body cavity. Place it on the rack in the pan, breast side up.
- Heat the oven to 450F and set the rack at the bottom third. Then, rub the turkey inside and out with the salt and pepper mixture. Next, pour the broth into the pan and set the turkey in the oven.
- Turn down the heat to 350F and cook for about three hours. Then, check the temperature at about halfway through the cooking. If the skin browns too fast, tent loosely with foil, reflective side up. Also, baste the turkey with the pan juices every 45 minutes.
- At the last 45 minutes of cooking time, baste the turkey with melted butter. Then, cook until the internal temperature reads 157F at the thickest parts of the meat.
- Take it down and tent it with foil, then let it rest for 30 minutes. Afterwards, carve the turkey and serve. You can also use pan juice to make gravy.
For more guidelines, click on this video.