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Preparing a holiday turkey can be one of the more stressful parts of the season—but there are plenty of ways to ease that stress.

Follow these tips for how to properly—and easily—prepare your turkey, for a worry-free Thanksgiving!

What’s the first step in the preparation process?
Once the turkey is fully thawed, remove the bag of gizzards and organs from the inside, and thoroughly wash the inside and outside of the turkey with water. Pat the turkey dry, then cross the legs and tie them together with kitchen string.

How long does the turkey need to cook?
This will also depend on the size of the bird. Follow along with these time estimates based on the size of your turkey and your oven set to 350°F:

  • 9-11 pounds: 2.5 hours
  • 12-14 pounds: 3 hours
  • 15-17 pounds: 3.5 hours
  • 18-20 pounds: 4 hours

Tip: Baste the turkey with its own juices every 30 minutes as it’s baking. When the internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F, remove from the oven.