If you are planning to cook Thanksgiving dinner for 60 people, just how many turkeys does she need to roast?

Not counting for leftovers, you’ll want to purchase 10 pounds of turkey for every 10 people. Four 15 pound turkeys (or 60 pounds total) should work well for this large group. If, however, you’ll be serving children as well, you can reduce the quantity. Children will need about ½ a pound per person. If making stuffing with bags of bread cubes, 1 bag will feed 8 so you’ll want to purchase 8 bags.

Don't let these turkeys get away from you!

Preparing the Best Turkey

  • Set up a work area, with roasting pan, cutting boards, paper towels, utensils, etc.
  • Preheat the oven.
  • Remove the wrapper from the turkey.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the body cavity. Check to make sure there are no other surprises inside.
  • Drain and dry the turkey.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients of the stuffing.
  • Stuff the turkey.
  • Re-tuck the legs.
  • Place turkey breast-up on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Brush with oil to keep the skin moist.
  • Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh. Make sure it is not touching part of the bone.
  • Follow the recipe of your choice. Be aware of the important temperatures: 180 F in the thigh, 165 F in the stuffing.

    Defrosting Your Turkeys
    There are two predominantly accepted methods of thawing a turkey: the Refrigerator Method and the Cold Water Method. The Refrigerator Method takes longer, up to several days, but requires no effort other than to make room in the fridge. Make sure you pick a spot on the bottom shelf to avoid contaminating food below the turkey (it will drip as it thaws), and simply place the turkey breast-side-up, still in its original wrapper, on a pan, tray or platter. Allow a full day for every 4 pounds. The Cold Water Method is quicker, but requires more action on the part of the cook. Place the turkey in its original wrapper breast-side-down in a sink or tub, and cover completely with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to minimize bacteria growth, and allow approximately 30 minutes for every pound of the turkey.

    Baking the turkeys
    Generally, I would bake the turkeys 20-25 minutes per pound at 325 F, covered, and then uncover and raise the temperature to 400 for the last 25-30 minutes. Check them frequently, though, because ovens vary. Have fun cooking, Margie!