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Old 12-25-2005, 06:08 AM   #1
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Turkey help! I'm starting to panic

In summary - home for the holidays. I'm in charge of the turkey.

This turkey is HUUUUUUUGE (by my standards... 20 lbs. - goodness gracious, I didn't even realize they made them that big!). Christmas dinner is 5 hours from now and I just got this behemoth in the oven. Am I totally scre... in trouble? I'll never get this bird done in time, will I? Please help!

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Old 12-25-2005, 06:33 AM   #2
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I think you're okay - according to the chart below, 5 hours is about the cooking time you need for a 20 pounder - unstuffed, 4 1/2 to 5 hours, and stuffed, 4 3/4 to 5 1/2 hours.

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/turkey/techniques.html

Do you have a thermometer? Check the doneness with that, if you have one; if not, 'wiggle' the thigh and drumstick; if they're loose, - usually - the bird is done.

I'd watch the breast carefully to make sure it doesn't get too brown or dry; cover with some foil if it looks that way.

Do you have a platter large enough to hold that big fella?

Have a wonderful holiday!!
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Old 12-25-2005, 07:25 AM   #3
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Thanks for the help! I think someone around here must have a thermometer. I know enough to not go by that "pop-up" thermometer. And I didn't stuff it knowing that it increased bake-time. But since I rarely bake the whole bird, I wasn't sure about the specifics. The wrapper said 6 -7 hours (!), but I'm sure they are just covering themselves legally.
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Old 12-25-2005, 11:22 AM   #4
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I would cook a bird this big for at least 6 hours; to make sure that you don't get the pink meat closer to the bone. You'll do alright, just take deep breaths every once in awhile.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:12 AM   #5
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I wanted to tell you all how it turned out. I cooked it for 4.5 hours, then it had a resting time of about 1 hour. By the time I carved it, the little plastic timer-thingy had come up.

I had several people ask me how I was able to get the Turkey so juicy and delicious. It was still warm, not hot, and quite yummy.

This is what I did... I put butter on the skin, I wrapped it up in one of those American oven baggie things, cooked it at 400 F (200 C) for 30 minutes or so and let it cook the rest of the time at a bit of a lower temp. Right before transporting it to my aunt's, I flipped it over (breast-side down).

It was a hit!! Thanks for the advice, all!!
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