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How Long Does a 15 Lb Turkey Take to Cook

Roasting a turkey has been viewed as a complex recipe because it is the star meal in every family’s Thanksgiving dinner, which is why in most homes the turkey is always handled by the best chef in the house.

However, making a roasted turkey wouldn’t be a thing of concern when you have the simple cooking process laid out and the correct estimated cooking time to follow which is why I’m guessing you’re here reading this article. Well, you’re in the right place because we would be showing you everything you’d need to know about making a roasted turkey achieve that delicious taste, crispy outer texture, and a tender inner texture.

Although you should have it in the back of your mind that the duration for making a roasted turkey would depend on the oven temperature you’re working with and whether your turkey is going to be stuffed or not. With that being said let’s get right into the topic.

How Long Does A 15 Lb Turkey Take To Cook

Turkey Nutrition Facts

How Long Does A 15 Lb Turkey Take To Cook

Tips to Note when Making a Roasted Turkey

When making a roasted turkey there are some tips you should apply to get the best result, these tips include;

Thaw the frozen turkey ahead of the cooking time; a frozen turkey must be defrosted and at room temperature before cooking it otherwise, it wouldn’t cook properly. You should plan if you’re going to work with a frozen turkey, make sure you defrost it by removing the wrapping and placing it on a baking dish inside a refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Although, for a quicker method for thawing the frozen turkey, place the turkey inside a cold (not warm) water bath, changing the cold water every 30 minutes until it is properly defrosted then place it in a refrigerator if you’re not ready to cook yet.

Pat dry with a paper towel; after removing the turkey from the refrigerator, let it sit for an hour, and make sure you dry the excess moisture in and out of the turkey with a paper towel or a clean towel.

Brine the turkey for extra flavor; this tip is optional but if you’re going to do this you can in two ways- it’s either you marinate the turkey in a salt-water solution for at least 12 hours or you season the turkey inside and out with salt and let it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking it.

Either method adds moisture, and flavor gives the turkey a nice brown appearance and helps tenderize the turkey.

Use an instant-read thermometer; using an instant-read thermometer would guarantee you get an accurate result each time, insert the thermometer in the thickness part of the thigh and breast to check if it’s up to the minimum safe internal heat temperature of 165° F.

Let the turkey rest after cooking; the turkey would need to rest for about 20 minutes after roasting so the juices would redistribute inside the turkey.

Use some melted butter; using melted butter to rub on the outer layer of the turkey would add more flavor and color to the roasted turkey. You could also choose to add some whole herbs like rosemary and sage when melting the butter for extra flavor, remove the herbs when ready and add them to the inside of the turkey then use the butter to rub on the turkey.

Use vegetables for support; at the bottom of the roasting pan, you’d be using for the turkey, add some sliced carrots, celery, halved shallots, or any veggie you’d like with 2 cups of water. This would not only give the turkey support but would also help to separate the meat drippings from the pan, prevent sticking, add unique flavors to the turkey, and provide a flavorful broth for gravy.

Remember to remove the giblet packet and turkey neck; when you open your turkey, remember to look for the extra pieces inside and remove them for making gravy or something else.

Using a foil or not; you could choose to use this tip or not, it wouldn’t affect your recipe greatly but it would make a difference. It involves using aluminum foil to cover the turkey breast at the beginning of the cooking process, this helps deflect the heat and prevents the turkey from getting too dark early in the cooking process, the foil should be removed halfway into the cooking process so the skin would brown perfectly.

Cooking Time for a 15lb Turkey

The table below shows the estimated cooking time for a 15lb turkey roast, although the basic rule for making an oven roast states that 13 minutes of cooking time should be calculated for each pound of turkey if you’re roasting unstuffed and 15 minutes per pound if the turkey is going to be stuffed.

Cooking method Cooking time
Making a stuffed 15lb turkey in an oven at 350° F  4 to 4 1/4 hours
Making an unstuffed 15lb turkey in an oven at 350° F 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours


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How Long Does A 15 Lb Turkey Take To Cook

Oven- roast turkey ( 10 servings)

  • Author: Bobby




  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 450° F
  2. Then, remove the turkey from the refrigerator or the packaging, remove the packet of giblets from the cavity of the turkey and save them for the gravy recipe.
  3. Pat the turkey dry and season it with some salt and pepper, try to get these spices inside the turkey also.
  4. Take the butter and melt it in a small pan, add some rosemary and sage then use a brush to spread it all around the turkey, tie the legs of the turkey together and place it in a roasting pan containing veggies, and 2 cups of water or low-sodium broth.
  5. Place the roasting pan in the oven and reduce the oven’s temperature to 350° F, cook according to the time listed above.
  6. Cover the turkey breast with foil when it’s light brown and remove later on about 45 minutes to the end of cooking.
  7. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the turkey’s heat if it’s up to 165° F.
  8. Once it’s done, remove it from the oven and let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes for the juices to evenly redistribute inside, carve the meat to the desired slices and serve with some gravy.

If you’d like to see more recipe inspiration for a roasted turkey, check out this video recipe