Turkey and Gravy Frequently Asked Questions: How much turkey per person? I count 1 pound per person. One big bird or 2 smaller ones? I always prefer 2 smaller ones, 14 to 16 pounds each. If one cooks nicely and the other doesn't, you have two chances of having juicy turkey! How long to cook it? I begin with an equation of 12 to 15 minutes per pound if the bird has stuffing in the cavity. A little less if no stuffing. Pop-up thermometer? Cute aren't they? A little insurance policy or so it would seem. Those suckers don't pop up until way past 165 degrees F so you will get the pop up along with your dry turkey. Use a meat thermometer. Test the thickest part of the thigh as it takes the longest to cook. Basting? Everyone checks on the turkey at some point in the cooking process. When you naturally check on the turkey to make sure all is good, give it a baste with the pan drippings. Tips for getting a crispy skin? Fill a large pot (one that will hold your turkey with room to spare) halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil and season it with salt. Submerge the turkey in the water for 2 minutes. Remove the turkey from the water and allow it to "rest" uncovered in the refrigerator for 12 hours (or ideally overnight) before cooking. You can also remove the turkey from its plastic wrapping and let it "dry out" in the refrigerator, uncovered, for the whole night before roasting.