Last Minute Preparations
The final steps to a perfect meal.
  1. To calculate roasting time for the (unstuffed) bird, count on 1 3/4 hours if the bird weighs 12-15 pounds, 2 hours for a bird weighing 15-18 pounds, and three hours for a bigger bird. Then add on an additional 30 minute resting period; 35 to 40 minutes for a bird over 18 pounds.
  2. Check for doneness with an instant read thermometer: the thickest part of the breast should register 165 degrees and the thickest part of the thigh 170-175 degrees.
  3. Bake the pies.
  4. Chill any wine or other beverages. If refrigerator space is at a premium, fill your washing machine with ice cubes and nestle the bottles in. Just run the spin cycle afterwards to drain the melted ice.
  5. Carve the turkey.
  6. Enjoy a perfect meal.