Cooking a 30 pound perfect Turkey is a little different than cooking a 15-20 pound turkey! Thirty pounds of turkey is a much larger bird, it serves up to 30 people, and you can’t cook it the same as a 20-pound turkey!
First, you’ll need to find a big enough shallow roasting pan like this one. You will need a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature at its deepest point is cooked to 165°F degrees.
You can scroll down to get turkey cooking time and temperature to roast a 30-pound turkey! Your friends and family are going to love its crispy skin and tender white meat that’s perfect with cranberry sauce for a special occasion like Thanksgiving, or Christmas!
First, you’ll need to defrost a frozen turkey. As you can imagine, a 30-pound turkey takes much longer to defrost than a smaller turkey. You will need to remove it from the freezer 8 full days before you cook it! It takes 24 hours per 4 pounds of the whole turkey to defrost in the refrigerator. So give your turkey a full 8 days to sit in the refrigerator before you roast it!
Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/poultry/lets-talk-turkey-roasting
You can also defrost a 30-pound turkey in cold water in the kitchen sink.. (NOTE: you will need a large kitchen sink!) Drain the sink and add new cool water to refresh the water in your sink about every 30 minutes. Continue this process for 15 hours or so. (Generally, it takes 30 minutes per pound to defrost a frozen turkey in cool water.)
Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/poultry/lets-talk-turkey-roasting
If you thawed your turkey in the refrigerator, set it on the counter for an hour or so before cooking to prep and bring it to room temperature!
Move your oven rack to its lowest position, and preheat your oven to 325 degrees. (Usually, you’d cook the turkey at 350, but a 30-pound turkey needs to cook at a lower temperature to cook all the way inside without overcooking the outer parts.
Cook time depends on the size of the turkey, and if there is stuffing in it. Unstuffed turkey takes less time to cook fully. Roast an unstuffed bird, 30 pound of turkey, for 5 -6 hours till the meat thermometer inserted in the deepest meat reaches 165°F degrees.
Cook a stuffed 30-pound turkey for 6 – 61/2 hours till the meat thermometer inserted in deepest meat reaches 165° F.
Roasting a fresh turkey saves you so much time in defrosting! you are roasting a fresh turkey, you can skip the 8 days of defrosting needed for frozen turkeys.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cooking at a lower temperature helps cook the center of the turkey without overcooking the outer meat.
Tools You Will Need
You will want to set out some paper towels! Paper towels and sanitizing cleaner make cleaning up much easier. Quickly spray and wipe up any juices that escape onto your counter and clean out your sink (if you defrosted in the sink).
A Meat Thermometer is a very important tool when cooking big birds! Raw turkey has salmonella and a host of other germs that can make you sick. Making sure your turkey is fully cooked eliminates any of those threats!
Using a Meat Thermometer, Check the internal turkey temperature about ¾ of the way through that time, and then again every 10 minutes, and roast until the temperature reads 165°F when checked at the thickest area of the thigh (do not touch the bone) and thickest area of the breast or thigh.
For food safety, a turkey must reach an internal temperature of 165°F at the deepest meat point you can measure before you take it out of the oven… The internal temperature continues to rise after you remove it from the oven to about 180 degrees.
A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.
REMEMBER! Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/poultry/lets-talk-turkey-roasting
Use your meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of roasted turkey before you stop cooking your turkey! You can’t judge doneness safely by the color! Some people just look at the color of the skin and meat to decide if a turkey is done… DO NOT cut into the turkey to check if the juices that run out are clear (not pink)! This isn’t a reliable method! First off…. They are losing all those good juices and the meat will end up being dry! Second, The Pink color may be gone BEFORE the turkey reaches 165 degrees inside! Plus, heritage turkeys do not always lose the pink color… Even when they are cooked to over 165°F inside.
A regular oven or standard 30-inch convection oven will be a really tight fit for a 30-pound turkey. You cannot roast a 30-pound turkey in a double oven, it’s too small. Obviously, a bigger oven is ideal for such a big turkey.
How to Cook A 30 Pound Turkey Step by Step!
Remove packaging, the neck, and gravy packet from the center body cavity, if this is a purchased bird. Place turkey in an extra-large shallow roasting pan turkey breast-side up.
Then, generously rub softened (or room temperature) SALTED butter to cover your whole turkey! A medium 12- to 14-lb turkey will need a half cup, 1 cube, of butter.
Do not rub spices under the skin, unless you don’t mind the skin shrinking off the breast. When you season under skin, the skin shrinks during cooking and leaves much turkey breast uncovered and it can dry out!
SEASON TURKEY BREAST
In my humble opinion, the best way to season turkey breast is by evenly spreading these seasonings over top:
- 2 tsp chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- A teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- A teaspoon of onion powder
STUFF SMALL HOLE WITH APPLE TO KEEP BREAST MOIST
This may sound odd… But breast meat can dry out, and stuffing the small hole (or neck cavity) with an apple cut in half protects it from drying out!
I do not recommend roasting your turkey with stuffing, because it slows down cooking time and can make mushy stuffing.
Instead, can cook your turkey stuffing in a rectangular glass casserole dish. I like to use turkey or chicken stock, saute onions, celery (and I love to add sausage.) This makes perfect stuffing that’s richly flavored, perfect textured (and turns out better, in my opinion, than roasting it inside the turkey.)
For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/poultry/lets-talk-turkey-roasting
If you don’t stuff your turkey, you’ll have room in the large cavity for aromatics! Aromatics help season the turkey meat and add delicious flavors to your pan drippings for gravy! Tod o this, place large pieces of chopped onion, celery stalks, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper inside the large cavity of a whole turkey before roasting.
You can also add aromatics under the roasting rack in the bottom of the pan! They will also perfume turkey meat and add flavor to the pan drippings while your turkey roasts. The water in your pan will prevent anything from burning! You can use fresh herbs, shallots, carrots, celery, and 2 cups of cold water UNDER the roasting rack inside the large roasting pan.
If you will be basting your turkey, add 1/2 a cube of butter to the bottom of your pan now.
COVER (THEN UNCOVER) TURKEY
To protect turkey skin from browning too soon, (and to get a moist turkey) loosely cover the bird and roasting pan with aluminum foil. Make sure to put the shiny side of the aluminum foil facing out. Remove foil halfway through roasting time so the skin gets nice and brown!
Place your covered turkey into the preheated oven on the lowest rack, and let it roast for 3 hours. Then remove the foil cover, and let it finish roasting uncovered for the remaining time. Before you remove Turkey from the oven, check its temperature with a meat thermometer in its deepest breast meat or the thickest part of the thigh. When instant read thermometer reaches 165 degrees, it’s done! Remove turkey from the oven, and let it rest before carving!
Let Turkey Rest Before Carving!
For juicy meat: After your turkey reaches 165 degrees F, it’s really important to leave it alone on the counter and let it REST, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes before you carve it!
Letting your turkey sit and rest lets the juices inside settle and be reabsorbed into the meat… Carving a turkey too soon allows all the yummy juices that make the meat moist to runout, and you are left with dried-out meat and a puddle on the carving board!
Letting your bird rest gives you plenty of time to make gravy and get everything else ready to serve!
HOW TO USE A MEAT THERMOMETER
You can use an instant-read thermometer or a remote thermometer (remote thermometers have a probe you insert before roasting, and that shows the internal temperature on a digital display sitting on your kitchen counter).
Insert thermometer probe into the thickest part of the breast or thickest part of the meat can also be the thigh. (But do not to touch the bone because touching the bone skews the temp). Turkey thighs are ideal to place probe because they can take longer to fully cook.
When the internal temperature show 165 degrees F, then carefully remove it from the oven and place the roasting pan on a cutting board on a protected surface.