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How big is it? (Your turkey, that is)

I'd like to see how others plan for weight of the bird vs. number of guests.

My bird will be 10 pounds, feeding 5 people. You?

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  1. fresh turkey from a local farm. I picked it up last night. It weighed in at just under 12 lbs. Serving 3 adults, our one year old daugter, and 2 cats. hoping for/counting on plenty of leftovers.

    1. Mine is 10.65 lbs and will feed four people along with a 5-6 lb ham. We'll have lots of leftovers for me to reinvent!

      1. Locally raised, free range turkey weighing in at 13.9 pounds, to feed 8 people. Also got 3-4# of chicken backs from the farm to make stock for use in the cornbread dressing, to make gravy, and for a wild mushroom-leek soup to have earlier in the day.

        1. My Tom is just over 24lbs. Don't have a final count but guessing around 20. Just made a 12.5lb for the bones, now that I've had my fill of turkey I can't wait to eat all the other good stuff.

          1. 22 pounder every year. 16 people. It pretty much disappears.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Tom P

              22lbs, 9ppl, numerous turkey sandwiches, enchiladas and rounds of soup to follow. (A 12lb bird waits in the freezer for January or so - I can't pass up .59 a lb for the brand I prefer.)

            2. thanks everyone, keep 'em coming, this is interesting!

              1. I ordered the 12-16 lb category and didn't check the exact weight before dropping it off at Mom's. She likes 'em big, but I was paying the big bucks for organic so didn't spring for the biggest they had ...

                1. Picking up two seventeen pounders tomorrow- feeding 23. Hope I have some leftovers!

                  1. 23 pounds - 15 people (includes 5 little girls)

                    1. 14 lb for 2 adults and a 3 yr old..I know, I know overkill right?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                        I have 16 lbs for five adults; and by my standards that will give just barely enough leftovers to last the weekend.....

                        1. re: susancinsf

                          It was going to be just the two of us (and three cats) so I got a 12 pounder. Then the inlaws invited themselves, two more people so I got a 19.5 lb instead and stuck the other back in the freezer. What can I say, we love leftover turkey. It won't go to waste.

                      2. 17 pounds for 8 people. We are also having ham. And tons of leftovers <g>

                        1. 21.5 lbs, 13.16 lbs, & 13.18 lbs. 18 Adults 5 kids. Deep frying them so not as much meat than if roasted.

                          1. My biggest was two years ago 25 lbs serving 18
                            This year is my smallest 17 lbs serving 9. We'll have lots left over!

                            1. 23 lbs fresh from the farm - for 5 people - leftovers rock and a bunch of folks had to cancel at the last minute.

                              Last year I had huge 29 lb bird - we called him Turkules!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: GDSinPA

                                Last year we had a 29 or 30 pounder- it was bigger than the youngest family member ( she was a petite 3 yo at the time)!

                                1. re: macca

                                  14 pounds for us--12 people which include two young children and a vegetarian.

                                  1. re: macca

                                    I picked up my bird last night down at the farm, it was slaughterd on Sun. The bird tipped the scales at 27#. My friend that raised the birds had a 41#er and a monster 48#. I could not belive the knuckle on the drum stick it was a big as a baby's fist, largest turkey I have ever seen and I used to raise them when I was a kid.

                                    1. re: jscott65

                                      Hunted it down and strangled it with my bare hands last night!..All 20 lbs of him gave me quite a struggle...but my 16 guests will appreciate the freshness.

                                      actually picked it up here

                                      Heritage Turkey 20lbs for 16 people, we also do a small fresh ham as well.

                                      1. re: jscott65

                                        Need a big oven to cook those suckers!

                                  2. I was looking for a 12 lb turkey to feed 5 but was only finding 10 or 18+, so I decided to go for an 18lb turkey and just enjoy the tons of leftovers. We love leftovers!

                                    1. I bought a 12lb locallly raised bird, foir 5 people, plus 3 cats.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Kelli2006

                                        You gotta count the cats for sure. Mine is running into the kitchen every time I open the fridge, ever since I took the wrapper off the turkey. Like a little kid on Christmas Eve.

                                      2. 21.99 lbs. 12 people for dinner and then a few more drop ins after for leftovers.

                                        1. I am cooking a Maverick Ranch 14.5 pounder for 9 people. We will also have a ham. I am cooking the November Fine Cooking TG menu.

                                          I am looking forward to my annual turkey gumbo with the leftovers...


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Becca Porter

                                            they have a 12 lb turkey, 10 lb ham 5 adults, 1 brat, 4 little dogs, no leftovers. and stove
                                            top stuffing. I am so embaressed. If I was making the dinner, it would be 32 lb turkey 10
                                            lb ham. stuffing from scratch, that is if I were going to do it. those were the days. I guess
                                            this happens when you get old. happy thanksgiving to all. I will be thankful for what I
                                            have and hold the memories of what I use to have.

                                          2. 17 pounds, along with a ham, for 12, plus 2 kids. I usually go with a smaller turkey, but my mom complained that there weren't enough leftovers last year.

                                            1. Bwahahahah my bird would EAT your bird! We have a 20 lb bird for four people. But we do that on purpose so we'll have days and days of leftovers. One of the women attending our feast -loves- turkey and her and her husband have recently moved in with us for a short while, and so having leftovers is a gooood thing. :) Mmmm post-thanksgiving sludge.

                                              1. I wanted a free-range turkey, and the smallest one I could find was just under 18 lb. That's for 2 people, so for pounds of turkey-per-capita I think I've got you all beat so far.... Yes, I like leftovers.

                                                1. The first turkey I ever made was a 20 lb bird for my wife and I. We were only dating at the time, but what hooked me about her was our shared love for left over turkey sandwhiches. 20 lbs WAS a bit ridiculous though.

                                                  1. 12 pounds for two people. Blush. But I'm out of town next week so my husband will have good leftovers in the fridge and freezer, complete with directions.

                                                    1. I have 2 locally raised organic birds at 15.5 and 18.3 lbs. That's 33.8 lbs for 28 people (23 adults and 5 little ones). I hope I have enough!

                                                      Probably won't have leftovers but there will certainly be lots of stock made afterwards.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: HungryLetsEat

                                                        two free range birds - one 12 lbs. one 11 lbs. to feed 15 people. i like the small hens best of all.

                                                        1. re: HungryLetsEat

                                                          Wow, 28 people!!! How in the world do you handle side dishes and desert? Where does everyone sit?

                                                          At the very least you can make some turkey soup!

                                                          1. re: GDSinPA

                                                            Yeah, it's one of those situations where you invite everyone, thinking half will show up...and they all decide to come. GAH!

                                                            I'm doing one turkey in the oven and one in an electric roaster. Several side dishes and desserts will be brought by others (thank goodness!). I'm just doing salad, sweet potato casserole and stuffing....oh and reheating a veg lasagna for the vegetarian crowd.

                                                            As for seating, we'll have 2 tables of 6 (kitchen and dining room) and 2 tables of 8 (family room and front entry hall!!) It'll definitely be cosy. I'm hoping the weather warms up so at least the kids can hang outside.

                                                        2. 18 pounds for 8 people, 4 of whom are international students who probably aren't aware that they are supposed to gorge themselves because it is Thanksgiving that day, and that's what we Americans do to show that we are thankful. Ahh, I love this country.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: seconds

                                                            I wouldn't count on it. My son's girlfriend is an international foreign student, and she's figured out just fine how Americans celebrate......the girl can eat!

                                                          2. My turkey is between 10 - 13 lbs ('ll find out tomorrow when I pick it up) for 8 people. But after seeing other people's reports, I'm starting to get nervous - maybe it isn't big enough? There will be no other meats, but at least 7 or 8 side dishes.

                                                            The farm didn't have many big turkeys this year (average size is 12.5 lbs), and I prefer cooking a small bird, anyway. I don't need leftovers - I'll just cook another turkey in a week or two. But now I'm worried that there won't be enough for second helpings!


                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                              I think that you'll be fine -- in the past I've had around your proportions, and there was plenty for second helpings. My mom complained that there wasn't enough for LOTS of leftovers, though.

                                                            2. The smallest turkey I could find at the store was 12 pounds.

                                                              That's for two of us.

                                                              We'll be having leftovers and freezing a lot.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: QueenB

                                                                One year my mother bought an 8 pounder as she was living alone and there were just a few of us coming for dinner. The bird had very little meat on it - it was a skinny thing with big drum sticks. So I never go under 12 pounds and that is what I have for this year.

                                                              2. 12.6lbs for 5 adults - fresh all organic

                                                                Hopefully lots of leftvovers

                                                                1. We'll be doing two 25-pounders for 14 people.

                                                                  We like leftovers.

                                                                  1. I was relieved the turkey work gave the man is only about 15 pounds (the threat was 20 pound turkeys.)

                                                                    We bowed out of going out of town with the family so it's the two of us, two very lucky cats and one spoiled dog. The man is supposed to do some calling around and make sure there isn't anyone with nowhere to go 'cause we've got plenty to share.

                                                                    1. A 20-pound bird, plus two 5-pound bone-in turkey breasts, for a total of 30 pounds of turkey. 24 people total, but 2 are vegetarian and 2 will likely be arriving late and move straight to dessert, so only 20 in reality. Also have a 9 lb ham.

                                                                      1. 9.5lb for 8 people. I don't really want leftover this year.

                                                                        1. 29.5 lbs. and don't believe that phooey about a turkey drying out or being too tough when so big. We cook one about 30 lbs every year, brine it and it comes out moist and deelish. Oh, we are feeding 15-20 people. Tomorrow we cook a 20lb for 11 people. Hubby does the turkeys and stuffing per his Mom's recipe. This is truly his holiday.

                                                                          1. 15 pounder for 2 people and 4 cats :)

                                                                            We'll freeze a lot, and make turkey soup for days.

                                                                            1. Just shy of 14 pounds available at the store, so I bought two!
                                                                              Having one tonite for the family (5 big guys and me)
                                                                              and will have a ham tomorrow, then I will make the 2nd turkey Saturday.
                                                                              Leftovers ??!!??!
                                                                              I don't understand how ppl have "so much leftovers .." ha ha !!!!