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Roast Turkey

roast turkey Entree
Roast Turkey
  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 5 hr 30 min
  • Servings 18

A delicious anytime classic—don’t wait for Thanksgiving! ...MORE+ LESS-

August 25, 2017

Ingredients

1
whole turkey, 12 pounds
Butter or margarine, melted

Steps

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  • 1
    Select a turkey that is plump and meaty with smooth, moist-looking skin. The skin should be creamy colored. The cut ends of the bones should be pink to red in color.
  • 2
    If the turkey is frozen, thaw it either slowly in the refrigerator or in cold water or quickly in the microwave, following the manufacturer's directions. A turkey weighing 8 to 12 pounds will thaw in about 2 days in the refrigerator. A turkey weighing 20 to 24 pounds will thaw in about 5 days in the refrigerator. A whole turkey can be safely thawed in cold water. Leave the turkey in its original wrap, free from tears or holes. Place in cold water, allowing 30 minutes per pound for thawing, and change the water often.
  • 3
    Remove the package of giblets (gizzard, heart and neck), if present, from the neck cavity of the turkey, and discard. Rinse the cavity, or inside of the turkey, with cool water; pat dry with paper towels. Rub the cavity of turkey lightly with salt if desired, but do not salt the cavity if you will be stuffing the turkey.
  • 4
    Stuff the turkey just before roasting--not ahead of time. Fill the wishbone area (the neck) with stuffing first. Fasten the neck skin to the back of the turkey with a skewer. Fold the wings across the back so the tips are touching. Fill the body cavity lightly with stuffing; do not pack the stuffing because it will expand during roasting. Tuck the drumsticks under the band of skin at the tail, or tie or skewer the drumsticks to the tail.
  • 5
    Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with melted butter or margarine. It is not necessary to add water or to cover the turkey. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of thigh and does not touch bone. Follow Timetable for approximate roasting time. Place a tent of aluminum foil loosely over the turkey when it begins to turn golden. When two-thirds done, cut the band or remove the skewer holding the drumsticks; this will allow the interior part of the thighs to cook through.
  • 6
    Roast until the thermometer reads 165°F (for a whole turkey) and drumsticks move easily when lifted or twisted. Thermometer inserted in center of stuffing should read165°F. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and let it stand for 15 minutes for easiest carving. Keep turkey covered with aluminum foil so it will stay warm.

Expert Tips

  • Roasting a turkey is a smart way to cook once and eat many times. Use leftover meat in sandwiches, stir-fries, salads, casseroles, soups and anything else you can think of!
  • See Timetable for Roasting Poultry for exact roasting times.
  • The timetable is based on chilled or completely thawed turkeys at a temperature of about 40ºF and placed in preheated ovens. Differences in the shape and tenderness of individual turkeys can require increasing or decreasing the roasting time slightly. For prestuffed turkeys, follow package directions very carefully; do not use the timetable.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
345
Calories from Fat
155
% Daily Value
Total Fat
17 g
Saturated Fat
5 g
Cholesterol
140 mg
Sodium
320 mg
Potassium
380 mg
Total Carbohydrate
0g
Dietary Fiber
0g
Protein
48 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
2%
2%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
2%
2%
Iron
12%
12%
Exchanges:
6 1/2 Lean Meat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Rate and Comment

lauranc83 More than 1 year ago
I just wanted to give out a tip on how to cook a moist, tender, and succulent turkey that I have cooked for the last 5 years. Everyone in my family always want me to cook this turkey at least 3 times a year. The tip is.... Cooking it breast down until the last hour. Plus smothering it with butter and herbs before cooking it.
Grandmaknitter More than 1 year ago
Do you slide the butter under the breast skin?  I've seen that done on TV.
MrsRochelle More than 1 year ago
Ok so how do you flip it right side up after cooking it DOWN sided for THAT many hours?
dscsf More than 1 year ago
I have used this basic recipe for years and love it. My only question is: Why does BC suggest throwing the giblets away? There are many different ways to use them and BC should know that and should not suggest that people waste food.
Grandmaknitter More than 1 year ago
dscasf - I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU.  (I'M AN OLD DEPRESSION KID - WASTE NOT - WANT NOT!)
ratbrat 4 months ago
Also boil the neck, and any skin pieces you have to make broth for your stuffing. (If you wish to put the giblets finely chopped IN the stuffing-add to the broth water to add more flavors also) Just as G-ma did!

joeleen10 More than 1 year ago
I made this recipe and followed the time table and the turkey turned out golden brown and juicy. I didn't cover the turkey the entire time because I was basting it regularly. When I started to prepare the turkey, I always don't stuff the bird and I did this time and it turned out perfect. Know I got some leftovers to eat.
AlexisE More than 1 year ago
I prefer to use olive oil rather than butter and sea salt and ground black pepper to keep turkey crispy and tasty.
kbkuchta More than 1 year ago
This first recipe is great but this Xmas I followed another one that literally produced the 'best ever turkey' I have ever tasted. It was a generic brand turkey.                                                                  1. The recipe said to put the oven to 450 and leave it there until you put the turkey in the oven. Keep over at 450 for another 5 minutes, reduce temp to 350 and keep an eye on it. I asked my husband to help me remember the 'time' and so both of us forgot.  That turkey (23 lbs) cooked at 450 for three hours which totally freaked me out. I moved the temp back down to 350 but by then it was almost totally cooked.                                                                                                            2. My second tip for cooking any poultry is stuff the bird with aluminum foil (scrunched up).  That keeps the heat inside and cooks the inside faster as well, with moisture remaining.  This is awesome when baking chickens, pheasants, etc.  I also cover the bird with foil until the last 15 minutes to allow for browning of the skin.                                                                                         3. Third tip, brown gravy that is so incredible! First,  you must make a roux: use black iron skillet adding oil and cornstarch and stir.  (Yes, this is gluten free.)  Con't doing this until you have used an entire box of cornstarch (continuing to add the oil to the mixture as well)  Just alternate the cornstarch and oil.  Do this on the stove, heating the mixture while you stir and add.  Once the roux is all mixed and you could pour it, put this is the hot oven and bake until brown.  This can take an hour but no stirring needed.  Once it is brown, take out and add chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, etc. or anything you want in your gravy.  Pop it back in the oven and it will cook your veggies without stirring.  You can use this same recipe for a gumbo prep.                                                    Loving easy, delicious food and simple prep time

Myminibus More than 1 year ago
1st step should be, Heat oven 375 degrees.
mpw58 More than 1 year ago
Turkeys roast best at oven temp 325 F. Please see BC's Timetable for Roasting Poultry link under Expert Tips.
Turkeysaver More than 1 year ago
I call an audible on this bad boy! Under no uncertain terms should you be breast up. Keeping the bird breast down allows for moist perfect breast meat every single time!  Another tip is once you have oiled or buttered the bird use cheese cloth to help keep the bird moist while basting. I like apple juice for basting personally
godongsu 24 days ago
Never said anything about oven temperature 
mpw58 More than 1 year ago
Turkeys roast best at oven temp 325 F. Please see BC's Timetable for Roasting Poultry link under Expert Tips. I use butter instead of oil as it adds better flavor imo. Stays moist with a crispy skin. Don't forget to season the bird inside and out!
Jojostoyz More than 1 year ago
I wil be using an electric roaster ... What is the best way to season and cook a 14 lb turkey ... This is my first time using one ... Any suggestions would be very helpful 
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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girl7 More than 1 year ago
this Is Familiar In My Place of lived they cook this every Year
cynthia74 More than 1 year ago
Can you get any easier????? SO EASY, SO DELICIOUS! Whether it is stuffed or not, this is the easy-peasy way to do a turkey. And to "brettsgma" who said she didn't see an oven temp: IT SAYS TO LOOK AT THE TIMETABLE LINK. It is on there. 325; average of 15 min per lb.
brettsgma More than 1 year ago
Maybe I am missing it but I don't see an oven temp
karsonsgmmy More than 1 year ago
For those who can't find the weights and time/temp, I copied from the list, hope this helps you. Whole Turkey (not stuffed) 8 - 12 lbs 325°F 2 3/4 - 3 12 - 14 lbs 325°F 3 - 3 3/4 14 - 18 lbs 325°F 3 3/4 - 4 1/4 18 - 20 lbs 325°F 4 1/4 - 4 1/2 20 - 24 lbs 325°F 4 1/2 - 5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Daisy_J More than 1 year ago
The roasting times are for smaller turkeys. What are the roasting times for bigger turkeys, say 15 lbs? Very new at cooking and need help, please!
karsonsgmmy More than 1 year ago
For those who can't find the weights and time/temp, I copied from the list, hope this helps you. Whole Turkey (not stuffed) 8 - 12 lbs 325°F 2 3/4 - 3 12 - 14 lbs 325°F 3 - 3 3/4 14 - 18 lbs 325°F 3 3/4 - 4 1/4 18 - 20 lbs 325°F 4 1/4 - 4 1/2 20 - 24 lbs 325°F 4 1/2 - 5
resjo1 More than 1 year ago
Triedto use the timetable to get an idea of how long my 15.3 lb should cook, however the table has nothing as per lb guideline. Can you help. Thanks rojoinc
rainydays2 More than 1 year ago
I agree with Mary S. I always cover the turkey until it's done. Then I uncover to brown. I always end up with a moist turkey and a phenomenal amount of juice for the gravy this way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Jomac1 More than 1 year ago
I just reviewed the Timetable for Roasting Poultry. Are the weights correct for the whole turkeys? They seem like small turkeys (5.5 lbs.?)
karsonsgmmy More than 1 year ago
For those who can't find the weights and time/temp, I copied from the list, hope this helps you. Whole Turkey (not stuffed) 8 - 12 lbs 325°F 2 3/4 - 3 12 - 14 lbs 325°F 3 - 3 3/4 14 - 18 lbs 325°F 3 3/4 - 4 1/4 18 - 20 lbs 325°F 4 1/4 - 4 1/2 20 - 24 lbs 325°F 4 1/2 - 5
CateC_BettyCrocker_MOD More than 1 year ago
Hi jortj321: It's posted now. Click on the red wording above where it says, "See Timetable for Roasting Poultry for exact roasting times." Sincerely, Cate
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Adopted2kids More than 1 year ago
I do not agree with roasting the turkey uncovered. This allows the moisture to escape. If the turkey remains covered until you are looking to see if it is done, it will remain juicy!
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Susie L More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful twist on the traditional turkeu. It adds so much flavor to the turkey. My family absolutely lovedt his receipe.
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