No-Fail Turkey Tips The minimum amount of turkey to buy is 1 pound per guest. There’s no harm in having extra but I wouldn’t advise having too little. There’s nothing worse than a Thanksgiving Stampede. After you factor in the bones, gizzards and shrinkage from cooking, you’ll have about 8-10 ounces of meat per person. Thoroughly rinse and dry your turkey before placing it in the oven.