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How Long to Cook a 13 Pound Turkey

How Long to Cook a 13 Pound Turkey

If you’re preparing a 13-pound turkey, you’ll want to make sure the meat doesn’t come out dry. Plus, you’ll also enjoy the bird to reach even doneness in all parts, with no pink meat. And the best way to meet these qualities is to master the proper cooking time.

How Long to Cook a 13 Pound Turkey.

Roasted Turkey Nutrition Facts

Roasted Turkey Nutrition Facts

Cooking Tips for 13-Pound Turkey

Besides the cooking time, other factors contribute to a moist and great-tasting roasted turkey. And you’ll want to bear them in mind before you begin.

Thawing Turkey

A typical 13 pounds turkey needs about one to three days to thaw in the fridge fully. Afterward, the thawed bird needs to sit at room temperature for an hour. To make things easier, bring out the turkey about an hour before cooking time. And you can also place the bird on the roasting rack for convenience.

Seasoning Turkey

You’ll need to rub the turkey all over with butter, so it stays moist in the oven. But be sure to work your fingers under the skin, but carefully, so it doesn’t break. And once that’s done, combine 1½ teaspoons each of pepper and salt in a bowl. Then, rub the spice mix on the turkey and inside the cavity. You can also consider bringing the turkey before the roasting period, which means you won’t have to season it.

Stuffing Ideas

An unstuffed turkey cooks quicker and more evenly. So, instead of the typical stuffing, consider using aromatics, spices, and dried herbs instead. And try cooking the filling with stock in a casserole dish next to the bird. You can also add the chopped and sautéed giblets to the stuffing for more flavor.

Keeping the Turkey Moist

You have different options for moistening roast turkey. First, the typical baste requires spooning the pan juices over the bird every half hour. You can also slide some butter beneath the turkey’s skin, and as it roasts, the butter melts and moistens the meat. Or, you can consider cooking the bird breast-side-down and flip it halfway through the cooking time.

Doneness Time a 13-Pound Turkey

Turkey needs to cook to an approved temperature of 165F to be considered safe to eat. And the time required to reach this doneness depends on the oven temperature and the size of the bird. For a 13 pounder, the durations are expressed thus;

  • 3 to 3¾ hours at 325F
  • 2¾ to 3 hours at 350F
  • 2½ to 2¾ hours at 400F
  • 2¼ to 2½ hours at 425F

For the best results, let the bird cook to 170F. And the best way to do this is to take it down once the internal temperature reaches 157F. You can observe it with a meat thermometer by sticking the probe at the thickest part of the bird’s thigh, avoiding the bone.


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Before Serving

Rest for about 30 minutes before carving, so the juice redistributes into the tissues. But note that you’ll need to cover the bird with foil loosely, so it doesn’t cool too quickly. And while you wait, you can make gravy with the pan juice to top the turkey slices.

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How Long to Cook a 13 Pound Turkey (2)

Roasted Turkey

  • Author: Bobby


  • One whole turkey, 15 pounds, thawed,
  • Two cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Two teaspoons ground pepper
  • Two teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Bring the turkey from the fridge and sit it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, remove the innards and place the bird on the rack in the pan, breast side up.
  2. Heat the oven to 450F and position the rack to the third bottom slot. Then, rub the bird’s inside and out with salt and pepper, and add the broth to the roasting pan.
  3. Place the bird in the oven and turn down the heat to 350F. Then, cook it for about three hours, checking the temperature at about halfway through. Also, loosely tent the bird with foil, reflective side up if it browns too quickly.
  4. Baste the turkey with the pan juices at least three times during the cooking. Then, cook until the internal temperature reads 157F at the thickest parts of the meat.
  5. Take the bird down and let it rest tented for 30 minutes before carving.

More guidelines can also be watched in this video.