culinary review

How To Cook A Turkey

Last Modified: 11/05/07
First Published: 10/28/07
Views: 7205
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Views: 7205

Cooking a turkey perfectly is much easier than commonly believed. Following a few simple steps can not only ensure a well-cooked turkey, but a great tasting turkey.

If your turkey is frozen, start by thawing your turkey.

Once your turkey has thawed, we move on to the turkey brine. Not a necessary step, though it does increase the flavor and juiciness of the meat.

When your turkey is ready for the oven there are only a few simple steps to follow.

finished turkeyIngredients
  • vegetable oil, for rubbing the turkey with
  • salt
  • lemon pepper
  • black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 tablespoon fresh sage, 1 tablespoon if using dried
  • 3 tablespoon fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon if using dried

Note: We prefer not to stuff the turkey with bread stuffing. It is easier and more flavorful to use citrus and herbs. If you choose to stuff your turkey then make sure the internal temperature of the stuffing reaches at least 170 degrees f.

wash turkey
roasting oan



Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees f. Move your oven racks down, if needed to allow the turkey enough height in the roasting pan.

Rinse the turkey in cold water to remove any of the brine. Rinse it anyway, even if you did not use the brine method.

Note: Make sure any bags, especially if they are plastic, are completely removed from the turkey cavity. You should be able to see all the way through the bird. If your turkey has not completely thawed you might not see everything inside.

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and then rub in a light coat of vegetable oil. Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, lemon pepper.

We like to use a roasting pan with a rack to keep the turkey off the bottom of the pan. This is the base of your gravy later.

For the first 30 minutes bake the turkey at 500 degrees f, then place aluminum foil over the turkey and reduce the heat to 325 degrees f.

We suggest you use a probe thermometer, placed in the thickest part of the breast. When the turkey reaches a temperature of 165 degrees f remove the roasting pan and remove the turkey to a resting place.

Let rest for 20 minutes with the aluminum foil on.

Using the drippings, you can make an excellent gravy.

Once you have carved the turkey, you make a nice turkey stock with the carcass.

preparing turkey
oven turkey

Cooking Help