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"How to Roast Poultry"
Taking the Guesswork Out of Roasting Poultry
This is your guide on How to Roast Poultry. If you have any questions about roasting poultry, you will definitely find your answers here. Many individuals seem to have questions about the proper techniques of roasting poultry and the amount of time poultry should be roasted.

For example, you could use a conventional oven which is the preferred method or you could use a convection oven, a roaster oven, an electric skillet, a microwave or even a slow cooker (crock-pot). The Poultry Roasting Chart below is based on roasting poultry in a conventional kitchen oven but any one of the other options can be also used without any difficulty.

There are several different methods that can be used when roasting poultry in a conventional oven, which includes using a roasting pan with a tight fitting cover, or a roasting pan with an adjustable vent, or a baking pan. If using a baking pan or the bottom of a roasting pan, the poultry can be uncovered or can be covered with aluminum foil. If using aluminum foil, the pan can be completely sealed or a tent of aluminum foil can be placed over the poultry leaving the ends of the foil tent open. Generally speaking, using a roasting pan with a tight fitting cover will produce the juiciest results since the majority of the moisture will be trapped within the roasting pan which aids in tenderizing the poultry.

You can roast your poultry with Moist Heat or with Dry Heat. Moist heat simply means to pour a liquid in the bottom of your roasting pan. Your roast will either be placed in the liquid while cooking or directly above the liquid. This can be easily accomplished by placing a wire rack or a roasting rack in the bottom of your roaster or your baking pan. The moist heat will help to tenderize the poultry. Basting your poultry during the cooking process with the pan drippings will help to add flavor and juices to your poultry and will help to create a finished main course that you can be proud of.

If you're stuffing a turkey, make absolutely sure that the stuffing is thoroughly cooked before removing the turkey from the oven. Check the internal temperature in the middle of the stuffing. The stuffing is not safe to eat if the stuffing has not reached 165° F. It is suggested that you do not stuff a turkey due to related health problems. Simply bake your stuffing in a baking dish along side the turkey.
Oven Temperature Chart
 Very Slow Oven 200° - 250°
 Slow Oven 250° - 325°
 Moderately Slow Oven 325° - 350°
 Moderate Oven 350° - 375°
 Moderately Hot Oven 375° - 400°
 Hot Oven 400° - 450°
 Very Hot Oven 450° - 500°
Poultry Roasting Chart
 Type of Fowl Weight Total Time or
Minutes Per lb.
Oven
Temp.
Internal
Temp.
  • Capon Whole 20 - 30 375° F 165° F
  • Cornish Hens Whole 50 - 60 350° F 165° F
  • Chicken Whole Total Time
60 - 70 Minutes
425° F 165° F
  • Chicken - Breasts (Bone In) Average Total Time
40 - 45 Minutes
350° F 165° F
  • Chicken - Breasts (Boneless) Average Total Time
30 - 35 Minutes
350° F 165° F
  • Duck Whole 18 - 20 375° F 165° F
  • Goose Whole 20 - 25 325° F 165° F
  • Pheasant (Young Bird) Whole 30 350° F 165° F
  • Quail Whole Total Time
20 Minutes
425° F 165° F
  • Turkey - Breast (Bone In) 5 - 6 lb. 30 325° F 175° F
  • Turkey - Stuffed Whole
8 - 12 lb.
12 - 14 lb.
14 - 18 lb.
18 - 20 lb.
20 - 24 lb.
Total Time
3 - 3 1/2 Hours
3 1/2 - 4 Hours
4 - 4 1/4 Hours
4 1/4 - 4 3/4 Hours
4 3/4 - 5 1/4 Hours
325° F 180° F
  • Turkey - Unstuffed Whole
8 - 12 lb.
12 - 14 lb.
14 - 18 lb.
18 - 20 lb.
20 - 24 lb.
Total Time
2 3/4 - 3 Hours
3 - 3 3/4 Hours
3 3/4 - 4 1/4 Hours
4 1/4 - 4 1/2 Hours
4 1/2 - 5 Hours
325° F 180° F
Note: Please do not rely on the approximate cooking times. Make sure that you check the internal temperature to determine when the poultry is done. Turkeys should rest for approximately 20 minutes after cooking before being carved. This will help to retain the turkey's juices.

Article: How to Roast Poultry
Author: Ray Zimmerman
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