Cooking Turkey: Methods & Cuts

Turkey isn’t just for the holidays. Make the most of your Giant Eagle® turkey, whole or cut up, with these tips for preparing perfectly cooked turkey any time.
Article Photo

Turkey is much more than a whole bird at Thanksgiving! Enjoy it all year:

  • As an Easter or Sunday roast,
  • In salads,
  • In sandwiches,
  • In one of the ultimate comfort foods—turkey pot pie,
  • In stews and soups,
  • In casseroles,
  • As a healthy substitute for beef in chili, burgers and meatloaf!


Shop your Giant Eagle Meat Department for your pick of this versatile bird—everything from fresh or frozen whole turkeys to turkey pieces, and all the fixings needed to prepare your meal.





Cooking Methods

Cut  Grill  Broil  SlowCook  Roast  Braise  Sauté or Pan-sear  Stir-Fry  Deep-Fry  Smoke 
Breast Cutlets/Steaks x x   x   x x x  
Breast, bone-in, whole or half x     x x     x x
Burgers x x       x      
Chops, Breast x x   x   x x    
Ground x x       x x    
Legs/Drumsticks x   x x x     x x
London Broil x x   x          
Medallions/Tenderloins x x   x   x x    
Sausage/Franks x x x     x      
Thighs, Bone-in x   x x   x     x
Thighs, Boneless x   x x   x     x
Wings/Drumettes x   x x x     x x


Stuffing a whole turkey

  • Stuff just before cooking (never ahead of time) and pack loosely.
  • Use about 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound of turkey.
  • For safety, the stuffing should be moist, not dry (heat destroys bacteria faster in a moist environment).

When is Turkey Done? 

Accurate temperatures, both in the oven and the turkey, are important for quality and safety. Here are some guidelines:

  • Whole turkey: Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, but not near bone or fat. Done when reading is 165°F.
  • Stuffed whole turkey: Insert thermometer into the center of the body cavity. When the stuffing registers 165°F, the turkey is done. (Note: Turkey should be stuffed only just before roasting. Never stuff a turkey ahead of time.)
  • Roasted whole turkey breasts: Meat thermometer should register 165°F.
  • Bone-in turkey pieces: Insert a fork in the turkey. It should go in easily and juices should run clear. However, the meat and juices nearest the bones might still be a little pink even though the turkey is cooked thoroughly.
  • Boneless turkey pieces: Done when the centers are no longer pink determined by cutting into the turkey with a knife.

Approximate Cooking Times

Weight Unstuffed Stuffed
10-12 lbs. 3 1/2 hours 4 hours
12-15 lbs. 4 hours 4 1/2 hours
15-18 lbs. 4 1/4 hours 4 3/4 hours
18-21 lbs. 4 3/4 hours 5 1/4 hours
22-25 lbs. 5 1/4 hours 5 3/4 hours

Related Articles:

Source: Is It Done Yet?