While actual cooking times vary, generally allow 18 minutes per pound for unstuffed turkeys. Stuffed turkeys will take anywhere between one-half hour and one hour longer. For an unstuffed turkey, place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, taking care that it does not touch any bone. Roast the turkey until the meat thermometer reaches 165°F. Don’t forget to let the bird rest at least 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to re-absorb into the flesh. You don’t want the moisture to drain out.
For a stuffed turkey, the roasting time may vary up to 30 minutes, depending upon the bird and the oven. Use the meat thermometer to check the temperature of the dressing. The center of the dressing inside the bird (or in a separate baking dish) must reach a temperature of 165°F for food safety.
Safety First Stuffing
Mix wet and dry stuffing ingredients just before spooning it loosely into the turkey cavity, and roast the turkey immediately. Check the temperature of both the stuffing and the turkey. Do not remove the turkey from the oven until the stuffing reaches 165°F. The USDA warns that harmful bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached a safe temperature, possibly resulting in food-borne illness.