Bake a Turkey at 250 degrees???!

Question: long will it take to bake a turkey at 250 degrees?
My relative says low heat is best.

Answers: long will it take to bake a turkey at 250 degrees?
My relative says low heat is best.

Don't listen to all the paranoid people here saying it will make you sick. Low temperature cooking of meats and poultry is the standard method in the commercial food industry. It produces the best, evenly cooked, most flavorful meats.

Just to be sure for eliminating any concerns about bacteria, always turn the oven to 500 deg. first. Put the bird in until the outsides are hot (about 5-10 minutes). Germ are always on the outside (not the inside) and this will kill them. At this point, you could take the bird out and stuff it.

Then reduce the heat down. 250 is fine.

It will take about 8 to 10 hours for a regular size bird. But the key is to just check the meat thermometer and get it to 170. Cooking at low temp is forgiving since it is harder to overcook (and dry out) the bird.

In the food industry, the often use an oven set at the final temp they want. So they might cook at 170 deg. This way it is impossible to overcook!

depends on the size, but at 325 it will take about 20 min a lb and taste just as good.

Low heat is not best. A normal temp of 350oF is best. The longer a turkey is in the oven, the dryer it gets. The best thing you can do to keep a turkey moist is not overcook it (when that bulit-in doneness thingy pops up, it's overcooked) and to brine it.


1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

--Alton Brown, Food Network

I have never in my entire life heard of cooking a turkey at such a low degree. It's best to start it out at a roasting temperature, like 400 degrees. Then over time, drop it down to 350 and then sometimes turn it down to 250 for the last hour. If you want your turkey to brown at all you have to cook it at least at 350.

The USDA says do not roast a turkey at lower than 325 degrees. 325 is "Low Temperature" according to all web sites that I have checked.

it will take as long as it takes till the internal temperature of the meat reaches about 170.. 165 minimum, and 180 max!!!

i know this doesn't help much as in terms as time, but if you ask anyone who knows meats and roasts, temperature is the key to doneness. and most would say that poltury should be cooked hotter than beef because of fear of bacteria.

but if you look at a chart for how long a turkey takes to bake in a 325 or 350 oven, you know it will probably take probably close to twice as long or more.

Please do not roast the turkey at 250. Years ago, a newspaper printed a low-temperature cooking method. Several people became quite ill after using that procedure ... the low heat was not enough to kill all of the bacteria. Please follow the usual procedure (350, or 325 at the lowest) as specified on the package wrapping, or the length of time that your favourite recipe recommends (for the number of pounds in weight.)

You can bake a turkey at 250 and it will be wonderful. Salt and pepper the bird, wrap it in Reynolds Heavy Duty foil, cover in a roaster pan, and for about a 13-16 pound bird, set your oven to come on about 1 or 2 AM. When you wake up the aroma of the turkey will have filled the house and you are instantly into the holiday. Check for doneness about 11AM. If it is done to your liking you can reduce the oven temp to about 165, extract whatever juices you need for dressing and other things. Keep it warm while you use the oven for other things until about 45 minutes before serving. Open up the foil, place it in the oven to brown a little more and to reheat through and through. The turkey will be so tender I recommend preparing it on a serving plate before serving, it will be moist, tender, and fall apart when you remove it from the foil. An added advantage is that the boning of leftovers is a quick job because of the tenderness and moisture still in the bird. I am salivating just thinking about next Thursday. YUM!!!!!!!!

If you like moist meat and crispy skin, you don't want to bake a turkey at 250 degrees. For best results, roast it breast side down at a high temperature (425 degrees) until the internal temperature of both the breast and the thigh reaches 165 degrees (it will continue to climb a bit after you take it out of the oven). This will take about 10-15 minutes a pound.

Or, you can try frying it in a gas or electric fryer outdoors in peanut oil--it will be the moistest turkey you have ever had! And, frying takes only about 5 minutes per pound.

The consumer Foods information on is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions.
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