When most people think of a fabulous Thanksgiving feast, best believe that there are memories of well-cooked and flavorful turkeys interwoven with the entire experience. However, getting a turkey from frozen to delicious can take a lot of work, especially when working with a size as large as 25 lbs.
In this article, we’ll teach you the best tricks so that you can be a pro at cooking large turkeys. It is pertinent to pay attention to our outlined timing guidelines, as this is critical to achieving desired results with your large turkey recipes.
Turkey Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking a 25lb Turkey
We have the following tips to help you get the best out of your cooking experience and achieve flavorful results with 25lb turkey recipes:
Defrosting a turkey – Preparing a whole turkey is rather simple, but it does require some planning. Because roasting a turkey might take several hours, the turkey needs some time to get rid of the chill in the refrigerator (this may take days if you need to thaw).
If you are starting your recipe with a frozen turkey, it will need to be defrosted in the refrigerator. For every pound of turkey, plan for around 5 hours of defrosting time. So, if you have a 15-pound turkey, defrosting it in the refrigerator should take roughly 75 hours or three days, and Defrosting a 25-pound turkey takes around 125 hours or five days.
Clean out your sink’s basin, fill it with cool water, and put the turkey in it if your turkey remains partially frozen on the day you intend to cook it. Until the turkey has defrosted, try to change the water every 30 minutes.
Roast the turkey breast-side down – When a turkey is cooked in this manner, the liquids from the cooking turkey fall into the breast while the turkey is cooking, resulting in the most luscious breast you’ve ever had.
This method also exposes the thighs to more heat, which is beneficial because dark meat takes a longer time to cook than white meat.
However, the skin over the turkey breast will not brown well if you roast the bird breast down. To overcome this, flip the turkey in the pan and brown it during the last few minutes of cooking if you want some browning on the breast.
Invest in a meat thermometer – It is advisable to get a meat thermometer if you don’t already have one. Using one will greatly simplify your cooking; else, there will be far too much guessing.
Using a remote thermometer is preferable so that you can monitor the turkey’s progress without having to open the oven door. However, any instant-read thermometer will suffice.
Ideal internal temperature – For cooked turkey, the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 165°F. Because the turkey will keep cooking after removing it from the oven for many minutes, you should remove it before the meat registers those degrees.
Remove the turkey from the oven when the breasts have reached 155°F to 160°F and the thighs have reached 155°F to 165°F. The white breast meat can dry out quickly if the temperature becomes too high, but thigh meat may be able to withstand a higher internal temperature without getting dried out.
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Cooking time for a 25lb Turkey
Follow the timing guidelines in the table below to get the best results when cooking a 25lb turkey:
Roasting a 25-pound turkey in the oven at 325 F
- Brining the turkey for about 8 to 18 hours is an option you should consider for added tenderness. One hour before roasting, take the turkey out of the refrigerator. The giblets should be removed from the body cavity or the neck cavity. Using paper towels, pat dry. It’s fine if your turkey is still cold after resting at room temperature for a while.
- Combine the melted butter, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub this mixture on the turkey all over. After that, massage it with olive oil. Spoon it into the turkey’s neck end if you are using stuffing.
- In the lowest third of the oven, place an oven rack. Adjust the oven’s temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) and let it heat up. In a roasting pan, place a wire rack. Then, the breast side upset the turkey on the rack. Embed an oven-safe meat thermometer into the turkey’s thigh if available, and leave it in during the cooking process.
- As soon as the oven gets hot, place the turkey inside and reduce the heat to 325°F right away.
- Cooking Time is approximately 5½ hours in a conventional oven and 30 minutes less in a convection or forced air oven. Halfway through the cooking time, baste the turkey with juices from the pan. After 2 hours, begin testing the turkey’s internal temperature regularly.
- Check the temperature of the turkey thigh and breast using a meat thermometer or an instant-read thermometer. When your turkey reaches 165°F (74°C), it’s done. Put the turkey back into the oven if it isn’t done yet. (Note: after 140°F, the temperature might swiftly climb.)
- Remove the turkey from the oven once it has finished baking. Elevate one end of the roasting pan lengthwise with an oven mitt to allow liquids from the cavity to pour out. Place the turkey on a chopping board and set it aside. Before carving, cover the turkey with aluminum foil and set it aside for about 30 to 60 minutes.
This large turkey recipe is great when you’re having a feast and need a delicious centerpiece that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. If you need more recipe ideas for cooking a 25-pound turkey, we recommend watching this video recipe.