How to Roast a Turkey

Learn how to roast a turkey for a delicious Thanksgiving meal. The turkey is traditionally the pièce de résistance of Thanksgiving dinner, but roasting a large piece of meat can be an intimidating task for any cook. Set your worries aside and follow these simple steps for how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. Use a Thanksgiving turkey recipe to prepare the perfect meal for your Thanksgiving feast this year.

Roast a Turkey Recipe

Ingredients and supplies:

  • Turkey (thaw unopened in the fridge if previously frozen, allow for 1 day of thawing per 4 pounds of turkey)
  • Roasting pan (large enough to fit your turkey)
  • Roast rack
  • Oil
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and cayenne pepper
  • Meat thermometer
  • Turkey baster
  • Stuffing (optional)

Directions:

Here’s how to roast a Thanksgiving turkey, broken down into seven simple steps.

  1. Place your oven rack on the lowest bracket and pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Next, remove the turkey’s giblets and neck, and rinse under cold water inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place your clean turkey breast side up on the roast rack inside of the roast pan.
  4. Rub the entire turkey with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on both the inside and outside of the turkey. Add additional spices such as garlic, rosemary, or cayenne pepper. Stuff your turkey or leave it plain.
  5. Place the turkey in the oven and baste it every 30 minutes to keep it moist and flavorful, and to promote even browning. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest party of the thigh and cook until it registers to 175 to 180 degrees F. An average sized turkey (between 12-14 lbs.) will need to cook for about four hours. Be sure to base the cooking time on the size of the bird. Cook the turkey around 20 minutes per pound.
  6. Remove your fully cooked turkey from the oven and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.
  7. Carve your turkey and enjoy!

Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling the raw turkey. With a little patience and careful attention you’ll have a beautiful main dish to serve on Thanksgiving day.

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