How to Cook a Butterball Turkey

Now, you just need to figure out how to cook it! Luckily for you, cooking a Butterball turkey is just like cooking any other turkey and it's really quite easy if you follow just a few simple steps.

So, you bought a Butterball turkey...


If your turkey is frozen, you'll need a defrosting plan. It can take 5+ days to defrost a turkey, so you need to plan ahead!

Make sure your turkey is defrosted

- Allow 1 day in fridge for 4 pounds of turkey. So, if your turkey is 16 pounds, it will need to thaw for 4 days in fridge. - Use turkey within 4 days of thawing.

Refrigerator Thawing

- Keep in cold water bath (completely covered) about 30 minutes per pound. So, if your turkey is 16 pounds, it will need to thaw for 8 hours in cold water bath. - However, note that water must be changed every 30 minutes.

Cold Water Thawing

To brine or not  to brine...


You don't have to brine your Butterball turkey because it's already  pre-brined with a salt solution. But for more flavor and moistness, you certainly can if you want!

Types of Brine:

Wet Brine: A wet brine generally consists of water, salt, and aromatics (herbs, garlic, citrus, etc). The turkey will be full submerged in the solution and refrigerated for 8-24 hours. Dry Brine: A dry brine consists of salt and sometimes other aromatics. The mixture is rubbed on the turkey and in the cavity and the turkey is refrigerated for 12-24 hours.

A majority of Thanksgiving turkeys are cooked in the oven, so we'll show you the oven roasting method here.


Plan Cooking Method

Planning to stuff?


Are you planning to stuff your Butterball turkey? I recommend keeping stuffing on the side, but if you are stuffing the turkey, be sure to pay attention to cooking temps.

Tips on Stuffing:

- Be sure to stuff turkey loosely instead of packing it in. -Cook your turkey immediately after stuffing it. -Be sure stuffing is up to temperature; not just the turkey. Stuffing should be at 165 degrees in order to be safe to consume.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Remove the giblets & turkey neck & pat Butterball turkey dry with paper towels.


Prep Turkey

Turn wings back to hold neck skin. Brush skin with olive oil. Rub turkey with salt & pepper if you didn't brine it. Add herbs/lemon if desired.


Prep Turkey

Insert oven-safe meat thermometer deep into lower part of thigh w/o touching  bone. OR you can take temp w/ meat thermometer when cooking.


Insert Thermometer

When turkey is about ⅔ of the way done cooking, loosely cover breast w/ foil so it doesn't overcook. See next slide for cooking times.


Roast Turkey

Turkey Cooking Times

4.5 - 7 lbs Unstuffed: 2-2.5 hours Stuffed: 2.25-2.75 hours 7-9 lbs: Unstuffed: 2.5-3 hours Stuffed: 2.75-4.5 hours 9-18 lbs: Unstuffed: 3-3.5 hours Stuffed: 3.75-4.5 hours 18-22 lbs: Unstuffed: 3.5-4 hours Stuffed: 4.5-5 hours 22-24 lbs: Unstuffed: 4-4.5 hours Stuffed: 5-5.5 hours 24-30 lbs: Unstuffed: 4.5-5 hours Stuffed: 5.5-6.25 hours.

Here's how long a Butterball turkey will take to cook based on size:

How Will I Know When My Butterball Turkey is Done Cooking?

You'll know your turkey is done when:  -The thigh  is 180 degrees -The breast is 170 degrees   -The stuffing (if applicable) is 165 degrees.

Remove your Butterball turkey to a platter & let stand for about 20 minutes before carving and serving!


Carve Turkey

Turkey Tools

For your reference, here are the most useful tools for cooking your Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving: 1) Turkey Roasting Pan 2) Meat Thermometer 3) Fat Separator 4) Carving Board 5) Carving Knife 6) Brining Bag (if doing a brine)

Voilá !

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your delicious Butterball turkey and your Thanksgiving dinner with family & friends!!