Thanksgiving for many means "turkey time" (unless, of course, you're more into Tofurky). And turkey time means trying to figure out what size turkey to purchase.

Morgan Goldberg

I get it. It's confusing. So let me help you.

Instead of standing in the aisle, in a state of utter turkey daze as if you've already been hit with the tryptophan, educate yourself so you can pick up the perfect size turkey for your feast.

Step 1: Determine how many eaters are coming to your turkey party. 

Parisa Soraya

If you have more than 12 people, and assuming you want some leftovers, approximately 1 1/4 pounds of turkey will be enough per person.

If you have less than 12 people, account for roughly 1 1/2-2 pounds of turkey per person, assuming you want leftovers. For smaller birds, there is less meat-to-bone-and-organ ratio, so you need more weight per person.

And for both sizes, if you do not want leftovers, simply select a bird slightly smaller than what the above formulas yield.

Step 2: Plan your cook time accordingly. 

Helena Lin

When cooking your turkey, it's standard to start cooking for the first 2 hours at 325˚F, then increasing the temperature to 425˚F for the remainder of the cook time.

If the turkey is between 10-18 pounds, cook for 3-4 hours, (3.5-4.5 if it's stuffed).

If your turkey is 18-22 pounds, 3.5-4.5 hours should do the trick (4.5-5 if it's stuffed). 

Morgan Goldberg

But for your own safety, make sure the thigh of the bird reaches 165˚F before you remove the turkey from the oven. Don't skip this step—breaking out the meat thermometer is definitely worth avoiding foodbourne illness for you and your guests. 

Wishing you a delicious, well-portioned, and illness-free feast.