Use a turkey roasting table to figure out how long to cook a raw turkey by locating the correct weight in the size column of the chart, then choosing the corresponding cooking time in next column. Sizing is typically determined by the weight of the turkey in pounds. Additionally, cooking times may vary depending on if the bird is stuffed or unstuffed.
An easy-to-use turkey roasting chart is available at Foodsafety.gov. This chart has three table columns for turkey size and unstuffed and stuffed turkey cooking times. To use this chart, determine the weight of the raw turkey by looking at its packaging information. If the turkey is unstuffed, use the unstuffed table as a guide. For example, a 12-pound, unstuffed turkey requires two hours and 45 minutes to three hours of roasting time. A stuffed, 18-pound turkey takes between four hours and 15 minutes to four hours and 45 minutes to cook.
Wash the outside and inside cavity of the turkey under cold water, and cut off any pieces of fat remaining on the bird before roasting. Partially close the turkey cavity by pulling its legs close to its body and tying the legs with cotton string, or use the provided metal clamp. Foodsafety.gov recommends cooking a raw turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.