- 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.
- 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.
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!
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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)
Enjoy your delicious Butterball turkey and your Thanksgiving dinner with family & friends!!