Turkey Cooking Time Start Calculator

Okay, I realize this may be late for this year (given that Thanksgiving was last week), but I have noticed that useful websites can last for years and I know I will need this next yar. So, I thought I would put this up.  This little web-app/form helps you calculate when to start your Turkey Bird!  It’s a Turkey Cooking Time Calculator.

fieldset.rounded { border-top: 1px solid #e6e6e6; border-bottom: 1px solid #e6e6e6; border-left: 1px solid #e6e6e6; border-right: 1px solid #e6e6e6; border-radius: 5px; -moz-border-radius: 5px; -webkit-border-radius: 5px; background-color: #fafafa; padding: 10px; } label { display: inline-block; width: 160px; padding-right: 10px; } input[type='text'] { width: 80px; text-align: right; }

Turkey Calc

You know the Turkey size! You know when you want to eat! But when do you START to cook it? How do you substract 280 minutes from 4:30 PM!? It is enough to give you a headache!

The solution? Turkey Calc! This little calc will tell you when to start your Turkey if you know how long it will take to cook. The cook types are averages, or you can simply enter your estimated cook time in minutes.

mpp = minutes per pound

Cook Type
 Oven (20 mpp)
 BBQ Grill (15 mpp)
 Deep Fry (3 mpp)
 Infra-Red Frier (10 mpp)

Turkey Size lbs
Cook Time (in min)
Dinner Time Please enter dinner time as h:mm p

Start Prep at: 10:45AM

Start Cooking at: 11:00AM

Start Carving at: 3:15PM

— Scott


Every year I cook at least 2 birds, one on the Grill (BBQ Style) and one fried. Since the cooking times vary with the cooking methods I wrote this tool to make it easier to know when to start each bird.

This year I tried the Char-Broil Infra-red turkey frier and I have to say everyone loved it. The Turkey was incredibly juicy, but it did cook much faster than I expected. At the same time I put a nice big 20 pounder on the BBQ (shown in the picture). That one cooked quite a bit faster also. So I still have some work to do. The math is not precise.

Turkey Cooking Times

The Infra-red cooked a fully thawed 15 pound bird in just about 2 hours. I would suggest you use a real meat thermometer and not the plastic pop up, as the plastic pop up on mine stuck causing me to leave mine in 15 minutes longer than I wanted. The BBQ cooked in just 3 hours – finishing a whole hour ahead of schedule. Again that was something I did not expect.

So the key is to play it safe and check your Turkey often while it is cooking. Turkey cooking time is just as much an art as a science. The Turkey Cooking Time Calculator is more of a guide than a hard rule.

On the US Gov Site for food safety they point out that Turkey cooking is not linear. But once you cross the 12 pound threshold (which is typical for big holidays) they are more uniform. I don’t think I have ever even seen a 6 pound turkey.

Useful Links

About.com Turkey Roasting Times Chart

Butterball Calculators

Government Roasting Chart

Published by