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How Long to Cook 18 Pound Turkey in Oven

Turkeys are sold whole, sliced, and ground, as well as “whole” with the head, feet, and feathers removed, similar to chicken. Whole frozen turkeys are still popular. Sliced turkey is widely used as sandwich meat or served as cold cuts; it can also be substituted for chicken in some recipes.

Grounded turkey is widely advertised as a healthier alternative to ground beef. Cooked turkey is typically thought to be less moist than other poultry meats such as chicken or duck when not properly prepared. Cooking an 18-pound turkey won’t be difficult if you would follow through with what is written here, it should be enough guidance for you.

How Long To Cook 18 Pound Turkey In Oven

Turkey Nutrition Facts

Turkey Nutrition Facts

Why a Turkey?

Turkey, being a worldwide consumed meal, has numerous advantages. In addition to the ones already mentioned, consider some of the numerous advantages this meal brings to your cooking as well as your health.

It may improve your mood- Turkey is thought to have anti-depressant qualities. It contains tryptophan, which creates serotonin, a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. According to scientific research, tryptophan plays a vital function in immune system strengthening.

It has anti-cancer nutrients in it- Turkey has anti-cancer qualities as well. It’s high in selenium, a crucial trace mineral for thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense mechanisms, and immunological function. According to research, selenium consumption can reduce the risk of cancer.

Healthy Nutrients Abundant- Turkey is high in protein, niacin, vitamin B6, and tryptophan, all of which are essential amino acids. It also contains zinc and vitamin B12, in addition to these minerals. Turkey skinless white meat has low-fat content and is a high-protein source. Roasted turkey with no skin is low in saturated and total fat. It also has fewer calories than chicken, pork, or beef.

Fat in Turkey is Low- Fat content in turkey meat is lower. Without the skin, 1 gram of fat per ounce of turkey meat is present. It’s the finest food for bodybuilders and athletes. Turkey meat’s low-fat and high-protein content aid muscular building and performance. For people who engage in strenuous exercise, turkey meat should be included.

Tips for Cooking 18 Pound Turkey in Oven

Calculate the cooking time and temperature for the turkey- Calculate 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey (about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-pound turkey) or 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey. Figure out roasting times.

Roast until the thermometer reads 165°F when examined at the thickest portion of the thigh meat and the thickest part of the breast meat approximately 34% of the way through every 10 minutes. Roast turkeys weighing 18 to 20 pounds at 425°F for 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours, 400°F for 3 3/4 to 4 hours, 350°F for 4 to 4 1/4 hours, and 325°F for 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours.

Check the turkey’s temperature- You can use an instant-read thermometer or a remote food thermometer to check the turkey’s temperature. In either case, place the probe into the thickest section of the turkey’s thigh, avoiding the bone.

The thigh is the ideal area to test because it takes the longest to cook, but it’s also good to check the temperature underneath the wing to be cautious. If the skin becomes too dark and the necessary interior temperature is not attained, lightly tent the browned areas with a double-thick sheet of greased aluminum foil to keep them warm.

Cooking an 18 Pound Turkey in Oven

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the turkey and how to prepare it, let’s look at some directions for preparing an 18-pound turkey in the oven. Follow the instructions carefully.

  1. Defrost your turkey

The refrigerator is the best place to defrost a frozen turkey, which can take up to a week, depending on the size of the bird. It usually takes 4 to 5 days for an 18-pound turkey to defrost properly.

If you’re short on time, there are other, faster ways to thaw a turkey, but when it comes to safe cooking practices, thawing it in the refrigerator is your best bet.

  1. Allow your turkey to air

When ready to cook your turkey, remove it from the fridge and place it on a rack at room temperature for an hour to remove the chill and dry off the skin. There’s no need to dirty another dish if you’re roasting your turkey on the same rack. The bottom of the turkey should sit at or just below the top of the pan on your roasting rack. A heavy-duty cooling rack fitted inside a half-sheet pan works well if you don’t have a roasting rack.

  1. Preheat the oven

Set the oven to 350°F and place the rack on the bottom rung. Some recipes call for roasting the turkey at a high temperature for a short time before decreasing the heat for the remainder of the cooking time.

The theory is that the high heat “sears” the bird while the moderate heat gently roasts it, resulting in a more moist and succulent bird, but we haven’t found this true. Furthermore, the skin browns quickly. Consistent heat means you won’t have to check the oven as often, giving you more time to prepare your mashed potatoes.

  1. Season and butter your turkey

Two tablespoons of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper in the big cavity and another 2 teaspoons each over the skin is adequate for an 18-pound bird. There’s no need to salt the cavity of kosher turkeys that have already been salted; however, do salt the skin! You can skip this last seasoning if you’ve chosen to brine your bird (wet or dry).

Place the turkey breast side on the roasting rack and brush it with room-temperature salted butter—or your favorite flavored compound butter. 1 cup (1 1/2 stick) butter is needed for an 18-pound turkey. Starting at the neck, slowly slide your fingers under the skin, taking caution not to rip or fully separate it from the huge cavity. Rub most of the butter into the skin, a small amount into the huge hollow, and the remainder over the skin.

  1. Allow the turkey to rest

Allow the turkey to rest for at least 20 minutes once it has reached the proper temperature before carving. This allows the juices to settle into the bird and be reabsorbed; chopping it up too quickly will only let the moisture escape, leaving you with dry meat on top of a pool on your cutting board.

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How Long To Cook 18 Pound Turkey In Oven

Perfect Roast Turkey

  • Author: Bobby


  • 1 (18 pounds) whole turkey
  • 8 cups prepared to stuff
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ quarts turkey stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees C). Place a rack in the oven‘s lowest position. Remove the giblets and turkey neck. Using paper towels, gently dry the turkey. In a roasting pan, place the turkey breast-side up on a rack. Stuff the cavity of the turkey loosely. Butter the skin and season it with salt and pepper.
  2. Fill the roasting pan with 2 cups of turkey stock. Using aluminum foil, tent the turkey loosely. Cook for 2 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices. Add 1 to 2 cups of stock to the pan at a time as the drippings evaporate. Remove the foil and continue to roast for another 1 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F (75 degrees C). Place the turkey on a wide plate to serve. Before carving, set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Turkeys are a fantastic complement to cuisines and have numerous health advantages for you and your family, and eating one can significantly enhance your health. It is critical to use the correct heat setting when cooking it in an oven.