how long should you cook your thanksgiving turkey?

Rick Rodgers, author of Thanksgiving 101, tells us how to cook
the holiday bird to perfection.

text by: Alexia Bacigalupi
all that stuffing. Since stuffed birds are heavier than unstuffed ones, they take longer cook. Rodgers recommends 20 minutes per pound for stuffed birds and 15 minutes per pound for unstuffed ones.
oven control. Oven temperature should be about 175-180°F to allow the dark meat to cook thoroughly. To achieve that oh-so-tricky balance between well-cooked dark meat and tender white meat, Rodgers covers the entire turkey breast area in aluminum foil to slow down the cooking. He then removes the foil during the last hour to allow for the skin to get crispy and delicious while leaving the white meat moist.
perfect timing. Better to err on the side of caution with cooking times, advises Rodgers. “If the turkey is done too soon, it can stand at room temperature for at least an hour without cooling down much” he says. The turkey should stand for approximately 30 minutes before carving so that the juices can redistribute themselves throughout the meat (and not splash all over your fancy tablecloth!). Use the time to warm up any side dishes in the hot oven or just put your feet up for a moment or two and catch your breath before serving everyone. 
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