How Much Turkey Do I Need?


With the coming of the holidays, those who are tasked with cooking up the upcoming feast will have to think about how much turkey is needed. You have to consider what turkey sizes are available at the store and how many guests are coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. It is quite a big task to say the least so we have a few tips below to help you guys out.

Average Turkey Sizes

Let's start off with the average size of turkeys. Knowing this will give you at least some idea just how much turkey is needed for that well inspired feast. Turkey sizes will vary between male and female turkeys. As you might expect with their species, the females are typically smaller than the males.

The weight of a male turkey will range from 11 lbs, which is about the smallest ones out there, to around 24 lbs. But take note that some turkeys can be heavier. The female turkeys will of course have a different weight range. The smaller female turkeys will weigh around 6.6 lbs and the bigger ones will weigh around 12 lbs.

Given these average sizes you will at least have an idea what size combinations you can come up with so you can serve an ample amount of turkey for Thanksgiving. However, you still have the other factor to think about. You will have to consider just how many guests will be coming over for dinner. Part of figuring out just how much turkey is needed is knowing how large a serving size you need for each guest.

Serving per Guest

This is the next important issue that you will have to tackle as a guest. You have to figure out how big a serving size you will prepare for each guest. It will be great if you know who exactly will be coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. That way you can estimate each individual's "eating capacity."

Some guest can eat a pound of turkey while others can eat twice as much. Well, that will generally depend on their individual appetite come dinner time. After considering your guests you should also consider the meat to bone ratio of the bird. Take note that this ratio is affected by the actual size of the bird you're going to cook.

Take note that smaller birds have a smaller meat to bone ratio. Take note that a portion of the weight of your turkey will be made up of bone mass. So, this simply means that you will still have to consider the turkey size including the specific bone to meat ratio.

If you've got a big bird for dinner then it will be perfectly fine to serve 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per guest considering the fact that the bone to meat ratio for a large bird is higher. However, if you're serving a smaller bird, it will be just right to serve up to two pounds worth per guest considering the bone to meat ratio. Keep these things in mind when figuring out just how much turkey is needed for your next Thanksgiving dinner.

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