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Nov 19, 2007 05:28 PM

Turkey confusion, needing conclusion.

Bah!!! My Turkey Is HUGE!!

I've been all amped up about making the Maple-Glazed Turkey from epicurious until I found out that the turkey we are receiving as a gift from my hubby's employer is 24 lbs instead of the 12-14 lb turkey we were expecting. This is only my second time cooking a whole turkey and I'm lost as to how I double the recipe...? How do I know how much longer it will need to cook? Should the maple glaze go on later? Should the oven temp. be lower?

If there are any experienced-turkey-roasters out there that could shed some light on this for me? Our stomachs will thank you profusely.

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  1. A 24 lb. turkey ought to cook at 350* for 4 1/5 hours.
    Here's a site that may help you with your preparations:

    These days it is advisable not to stuff the turkey ...but bake the stuffing outside the turkey. That will lessen the roasting time and lessen the chance of cross contanimation.

    1. I don't really know that there's a sure fire X2 formula for this.
      What I'd do is go out and invest in a good probe thermometer (If you don't have one) and follow the instructions for the cooking temps.
      As to when to apply the glaze, perhaps you can find a guideline for cooking a large bird, take the time and compare it against how long yours will have to cook and backtrack from the finished product.

      Sorry I couldn't be of much more help.


      1. About 5 hours for a stuffed turkey in a 325 degree oven should do it. Note that the Web has loads of information on such matters. Here’s one good site:

        1. Cook's Illustrated has a recipe for a large bird (18-22 lb) which should work. Roast it unstuffed, breast side down for 1 hour at 425 degrees, take it out of the oven and carefully flip it breast side up (I use clean potholders and toss them in the wash after; gives a better grip than trying to use forks) and turn the oven down to 325 and roast for another 2 hours or so until the thigh meat is 175-180 and the breast meat is about 165. I really swear by the rotating method; I think the juices stay in the breast meat better.

          If you are applying a glaze, increase the ingredients but put it on the bird at the same time as the original recipe; it will burn if left on too long.

          1. Start at the higher temperature suggested for at least 30 minutes (425), and be prepared to cover the bird with foil during the last hour or two of cooking at 325 to 350, should the wings begin to overcook. Use a probe thermometer to check for doneness. Just make sure that the bird is completely defrosted before you start and that you leave it out on the counter for about an hour before you place it in a preheated oven. Check your oven temperature too. You may need to turn it down 25 degrees, or up, depending upon the actual oven temperature. I always found that gas ovens run colder on Thanksgiving -- probably because the whole neighborhood was using them at the same time and the gas pressure was a bit lower. Just be patient and watch it and baste it once an hour.

            Keep in mind that stuffing adds 25 to 30 more minutes to cook through. It has taken me anywhere from four and a half to six hours to cook a thawed Butterball this size, and you still need to let it stand for a good 45 minutes before you can carve it, so be patient and flexible. I'd rather finish early, so start early. You can always heat up the slices a little once carved, and that is better than everyone waiting around for the turkey to cook.

            Bottom line, a 24 pounder is not an easy thing to cook. It takes vigilance. That is why most people marvel at it when it comes out of the oven, at least the cooks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RGC1982

              Wow, you guys gave me all the information I needed, thanks so much! You've calmed my maybe the gigantic-man-eating-turkey nightmares I've been suffering through will cease!
              (now I'll just wonder where in the world there are 24lb turkeys running around and make plans to never go to that place. Just the thought makes me lose some feathers)