November 03, 2022 2 min read

Cook the perfect holiday turkey with tips from Bell and Evans

It’s important to equilibrate the internal temperature of your turkey prior to roasting for a more even cook. Even though our turkeys are fresh, we recommend placing your turkey on a pan and placing it in the refrigerator (40°F or below) several days prior to roast. A good rule of thumb is one half day in the refrigerator for every 4 pounds.

If your turkey is frozen, do not thaw it at room temperature. Place your packaged turkey on a tray in the refrigerator and allow 1 full day for every 4 pounds. If time is of the essence, you can use a cold-water method. Keep the turkey in its original packaging and place it in to a large container. Completely cover with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled. Anticipate at least 30 minutes per pound.

The pan you use can affect the roasting time. The deeper the pan, the longer the time.

Do not stuff turkey until you are ready to place it in the oven. Stuff the turkey loosely. Be sure all meat products in the stuffing are thoroughly cooked before placing in the turkey.

We highly recommend the use of both oven and meat thermometers. Insert the meat thermometer into the breast of the turkey, NOT TOUCHING THE BONE. A reading of 173° F indicates the turkey is done.

Our turkeys come equipped with a pop up timer programmed to activate when the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 178° F. The timers are accurate, however, preparation methods such as brining, basting and deep frying can affect the mechanism. If it has not activated within ½ hour of the scheduled roasting time, remove the turkey and check for doneness using a meat thermometer.

After removing the turkey from the oven, allow it to rest* for at least 20-30 minutes before carving. Not only will the meat slice much easier, but this time will permit the juices to be absorbed evenly, resulting in a tender, more tasty turkey.

• avoid basting/opening oven too often
• *let the turkey rest uncovered
•  carve as you go 

Remove giblets and neck from body and neck cavities and rinse turkey thoroughly in cool water. Preheat oven to 325°F . Season turkey as desired. Place a tent of aluminum foil over the turkey and place in the oven. Roast for approximately 15 minutes per pound. Approximately 1 hour before turkey is scheduled to be done, remove aluminum foil tent to allow turkey to brown. 


8 – 12 lbs
2 – 3 hours
12 – 16 lbs
3 – 4 hours
16 – 20 lbs
4 – 5 hours
20 – 24 lbs
5 – 6 hours
24 – 28 lbs
6 – 7 hours
28 – 32 lbs
7 – 8 hours

NOTE: These are estimated times. Please use a meat thermometer to confirm the internal temperature has reached 173° F.

Check your turkey with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached 173° F. + add 1/2 hour for stuffed turkey

get hooked!