how long to cook half a turkey


What size turkey should be used when cooking half a turkey?

How Long to Cook Half a Turkey – A Comprehensive Guide

Cooking a turkey can be challenging, particularly if you are not familiar with the cooking time. It becomes even more daunting when you are cooking only half a turkey. Many people are often unsure how long it takes to cook half a turkey. The good news is that you can cook half a turkey just as you would cook a whole turkey, but with a few adjustments to the cooking time. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at how long it takes to cook half a turkey and provide some tips to ensure that your turkey turns out perfectly!

Cooking Times for Half a Turkey

Before you start cooking, it is important to determine the weight of your turkey. The cooking time of any turkey depends on its weight. For half a turkey, the weight is typically around 6-8 pounds. Based on this weight, here are some approximate cooking times for half a turkey.

If you want to roast your turkey in the oven at 350°F:

  • For a 6-pound turkey, cook it for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • For a 7-pound turkey, cook it for approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • For an 8-pound turkey, cook it for approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes

It is important to note that these cooking times are approximate and should be used only as a guide. You must have an accurate meat thermometer to ensure that your turkey is cooked to the right temperature.

Cooking Temperature for Half a Turkey

The cooking temperature for half a turkey is the same as for a whole turkey, which is typically 350°F. This temperature ensures that the turkey cooks evenly and does not dry out.

Cooking Tips for Half a Turkey

Here are some tips that will help you cook the perfect half a turkey:

  1. Always use a meat thermometer to determine when your turkey is fully cooked. The internal temperature of the turkey’s thickest part should be 165°F.
  2. If you want, you can baste your turkey with butter or oil to keep it moist and flavorful throughout the cooking process. This will also give the turkey a golden-brown appearance.
  3. Cover your turkey with aluminum foil or a roasting pan lid for the first hour and a half of cooking. This will help to keep the moisture in and prevent the turkey from drying out.
  4. Let your turkey rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking before carving. This will allow the juices to settle, resulting in a tender, juicy turkey.


Cooking half a turkey requires a bit of attention to detail, but it is not a complicated process. With the tips outlined in this article, you are sure to have a perfectly cooked turkey that your family and guests will love!

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