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A Guide to Thanksgiving Turkey - Serving Size, Thawing, and Roasting

By Shauna Hanus

As Thanksgiving approaches and you begin to prepare for your Thanksgiving turkey dinner you may be having questions about how much turkey you need per person. Or how long does it take to thaw a frozen turkey? Finally is the all important how long do I need to roast my turkey. Here are three guides to follow to help you achieve your perfect Thanksgiving turkey.

Turkey Serving Guide - How much turkey to serve per person

When planning your Thanksgiving turkey dinner it can be overwhelming wondering how much to serve per person. You will want to have enough for each person to have at least two servings and enough for turkey leftovers.

Up to 12lbs. = 1lb. per person
Over 12lbs. = 3/4lb. per person
Bone in breast = 1/2lb. per person
Boneless breast or role = 1/3lb. per person

Turkey Thawing Guide

Refrigerator thawing is the recommended method for thawing turkey. It used to be common practice to thaw turkey in the sink with cold water. The problem with this method is that bacteria can grow on the turkey while it is thawing. This is the reason that refrigerator thawing is recommended.

6 to 8lbs. = 1 to 1 days
8 to 12lbs. = 1 to 2 days
12 to 16lbs. = 2 to 3 days
16 to 20lbs. = 3 to 4 days
Bone and breast = 1 to 2 days
Boneless breast roll = 1 to 2 days

Turkey Roasting Guide

Pre-heated 325 oven.
6 to 8lbs. = 2 to 3 hours
8 to 12lbs. = 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16lbs. = 3 to 4 hours
16 to 20lbs. = 4 to 5 hours
Bone and breast = 1 to 2 hours
Boneless breast roll = 1 to 2 hours

Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet recipes. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. She has put together a special Thanksgiving report that gives you 73 recipes to use with your leftover turkey as well as a special holiday ice cream cookbook that includes favorites like pumpkin pie ice cream and pecan pie ice cream. She has also put together a holiday planning guide to help you have the most enjoyable Thanksgiving ever. 

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