Do You Cook a Turkey at 325 or 350 ºF in Oven? Answered!

Do You Cook a Turkey at 325 or 350 ºF in Oven? Answered!

Do you cook a turkey at 325 or 350 degrees? Let’s find out the best cooking times and temperatures for a turkey in oven.

This article is to help those that are wondering how to cook a turkey in the oven without having it come out either dried out or undercooked. Cooking the perfect turkey can be difficult because of all the different variables involved.

The cooking temperatures, times, calibrations of ovens, and many other factors may be crucial in determining whether the turkey will be a culinary success or a flop. Different recipes and cooking methods may offer contradicting information about the best way to cook a turkey. Still, some tried and true general guidelines can help create a wonderful bird to share with friends and family.

Do You Cook A Turkey At 325 Or 350 Degrees?

Do You Cook A Turkey At 325 Or 350 Degrees

This question is commonly asked when people plan to roast a turkey. However, suppose you were to look up the baking temperatures for an oven.

In that case, you might find that some recipes suggest cooking your turkey at 350 degrees F. In comparison, others call for heating the oven to 325 degrees F. Both of these temperatures are Celsius.

The difference in cooking temperatures is very small, but there are significant consequences for choosing one or the other. 

Cooking At 325 Degrees

When using this lower temperature, your turkey will take longer to cook and so it is advised that you use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your bird.

This method allows for more freedom and allows your turkey to cook as it wishes and is recommended for those who tend not to like their meat overcooked.

According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, turkeys cooked at 325 degrees F will cook approximately one and a half times slower than turkeys cooked at 350 degrees F.

Cooking At 350 Degrees

This higher temperature is advised when you are cooking a larger bird, such as an 18-20 pound turkey, but smaller birds do not necessarily need an oven this hot in order to be cooked through.

Another benefit of this higher temperature is that it causes the skin to brown more rapidly, which gives the turkey a nice crispy outer appearance.

The higher temperature will cook your turkey much faster, so it is important to take the meat thermometer’s internal reading at least twice during cooking to ensure that you are not overcooking the turkey.

When talking about baking temperatures, there are several things to remember. The data given for these two baking temperatures were taken from

The general rule is, if you are cooking for less than 15 people, use 325 degrees F. If you are cooking for over 15 people, use 350 degrees F.

What Temperature Should You Cook A Turkey?

Turkey cooking time and temperature

There is a general rule of cooking turkey, which states that the bird should be cooked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, this guideline leaves out those who prefer to cook their turkey at a lower temperature for a longer period.

Also, it does not take into consideration small or large turkeys. To compensate for these differences, the cooking temperature of a turkey should be 325 degrees Fahrenheit for small turkeys and 350 degrees Fahrenheit for large turkeys.

In order to answer this question, there are certain things that must be kept in mind.

In general, most ovens tend to be calibrated as being about 250 degrees Fahrenheit too hot. This means cooking your turkey at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in an oven that is actually calibrated to be 325 degrees Fahrenheit will cause your turkey to cook to temperature 50 minutes faster

Is It Better To Cook A Turkey At 325 Or 350 Degrees Fahrenheit?

Is It Better To Cook A Turkey At 325 Or 350 Degrees Fahrenheit

There are two options with very different results when considering turkey cooking temperatures.

  • Cooking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit is better because it will make for crispy skin and an overall meatier taste.
  • Cooking at 325 degrees Fahrenheit produces smoother skin and more tender meat. The choice comes down to personal preference.

Now, it’s your choice. What do you prefer? Tender meat or crispy skin? You should choose the right temperature for the desired effect.

Can I Cook A Turkey In Oven At 400 Degrees?

Cooking a turkey in oven at 400 degrees

When cooking a turkey, you always want to use the proper temperature and the right times relative to the size of your bird.

To give yourself more options when it comes to internal temperatures, the best thing to do is to use a meat thermometer so you can know exactly what temperature your turkey is when it is done.

It is not recommended to cook a turkey in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit because this temperature is too high and may burn the skin, rendering it inedible.

This temperature will also dry out the meat and make it tougher and less moist than if you cooked it lower using a thermometer.

Tips For A Better Turkey Recipe

Tips for cooking a good and delicious turkey

1) Use your meat thermometer

Use your meat thermometer to know what temperature your turkey is when it is done. Ensure that the oven rack is low enough that your bird will not burn or overcook too quickly on the outside. 

2) Cooking time and temperature

If you are cooking a small turkey, it should be cooked at 325 degrees for between 11/2 to 2 hours. If you are cooking a larger Turkey, use 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 pounds of bird per hour and increase about 20 minutes per pound for larger birds up to 18 pounds.

3) Don’t baste the turkey too often

Don’t baste the turkey too often, as this can cause it to overcook, and you lose out on some of the flavours that come from the fat which accumulates in cooking.

4) Use a meat thermometer

Measure your cooking time using a meat thermometer rather than a clock because timing with a clock is never reliable.

5) Check the turkey halfway

Check the turkey halfway through cooking to ensure that it is not too dry or overcooked. If this seems to be happening, cover it with aluminium foil and put it back in the oven until done.

6) Do not stuff the turkey

Do not stuff the turkey because stuffing takes up much-needed space, which will result in an undercooked turkey since the inside will not cook as fast as the outside.

7) Cook your turkey at 325 degrees

For best results, cook your turkey at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Let your turkey rest before carving it so that all of the juices within can settle, and you will end up with a much juicier, more tender turkey.

8) Cover with aluminium foil

Remember that a turkey continues to cook after taking it out of the oven. So if you are not ready to serve your turkey, make sure that you leave it out of the oven, but cover it with aluminium foil, which will keep it from drying out.

9) Be careful with bacterias

Remember that turkey should be cooked up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit which is well above the temperature at which most bacteria can live. This means that you do not have to worry about food safety nearly as much when cooking a turkey.

10) Check the 400 ºF temperature

As long as your oven temperature stays below 400 degrees Fahrenheit, you are able to cook your turkey in an oven with great results.

Final Words

So, when cooking a turkey at 350 degrees, always keep in mind that this is just a general rule, and 325 degrees Fahrenheit should be used for small ones, while the cooking time will depend on the size of your large birds. You can use a meat thermometer to test doneness and remember not to stuff the oven.

Next time you are preparing a turkey for the family, simply follow these helpful cooking tips to ensure that you get that perfect bird everyone is raving about.

So, do you already know if you should cook a turkey in oven at 325 or 350 degrees? Please, feel free to leave your comments below!

Interesting articles:

Do You Cook a Turkey at 325 or 350 ºF in Oven? Answered!

Do You Cook a Turkey at 325 or 350ºF

How long and what is the best temperature to cook a turkey? I recommend 325 degrees. Check in the article why you should choose this temperature.
4.5 from 2 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • Turkey


  • Choose the oven temperature;
  • Prepare your turkey;
  • Enjoy your recipe!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!