Stuffed turkey roasting times
Just bought my bird: bigger than I wanted, but forgot to pre-order this year, so it's a 14 lb. turkey for 2 people (LOTS of leftovers this year). I'm pretty laid-back about directions, so just now began to take a look at roasting time for a stuffed bird. Was surprised at the variations (all at 325 degrees):
1. 1973 Good Housekeeping cookbook (used to be my cooking Bible when I first married in '75): 12-16 lbs, stuffed: 4 3/4 to 5 3/4 hours. Wow, seriously overcooked? Said to roast to internal temp of 180-185. Turkey briquettes?
2. Instructions from an old Butterball insert, 1991: in roasting pan--4 to 4 1/2 hours. Enamel pan--3 1/2 --4 hours
3. Current websites: ranged from 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 (!) hours. One had a difference for defrosted vs. fresh birds--why? Fresh was for lesser time, 10-15 min./lb for fresh.
What say you? How long for a 14 lb stuffed fresh turkey?
When I do cook a turkey (just have to do sides this time around), it's always stuffed. Thinking stuffing in the bird could a a pound or more of additional weight. I know it takes longer than empty bird. I use that 20min/lb as a "guideline" and put bird in early enough so if it needs more time it doesn't make for a frantic kitchen. As for doneness... I do use a thermometer but use my Grandmother's method as final authority. If ya grab a leg and it feels like you could pull it off without much effort... it's done!
I start it at 450', turn it down to 375-ish, give it about 20 to 25 minutes per pound for stuffed. I baste it every half hour, so when it looks done, I'll check the temp and pull it out whenever it's ready. I think I do not have this down to an exact science, though I have made turkey every Thanksgiving for the last 25 years.