There are two schools of opinion when it comes to buying the Thanksgiving turkey: Find the biggest bird possible and feast on the leftovers, or do the math and plan for a turkey that will precisely fulfill your Thanksgiving needs — leftovers, optional. Here's a handy guide to help you, whichever path you choose.
If you’re of the former persuasion, go forth and find a big bird. We’ve found that once you get to 20 pounds, oven size and cooking time become other issues to tackle. In lieu of exceeding that size, consider cooking two birds instead. For those who only want enough to serve their party, this is the turkey arithmetic to get you to your best bird.