The turkey is one of the most popular and beloved of all Thanksgiving dishes. It’s also one of the easiest to prepare, but there are a few pitfalls that can result in an undercooked or over-cooked bird. Here are my tips for cooking the perfect turkey every time:
Roast turkey takes about 30 to 45 minutes per pound, or about 17-19 minutes per pound for a frozen turkey.
For the best results, we recommend roasting your turkey at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes per pound (17-19 minutes per pound for a frozen turkey). This will give you an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, which is well above the safe zone for food to remain fresh and healthy.
Also keep in mind that cooking time depends on the size of your bird: The bigger they are, the longer they’ll take!
Remove the giblets, neck and body cavity from the turkey and pat dry with paper towels.
Next, remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. The giblets are found in a plastic bag inside of the body cavity. The neck will be attached to the back of your bird, just below where its head used to be (if you don’t know what I mean by “used to be,” look at this picture).
Pat dry with paper towels and discard or save them for another use.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and place the turkey in a roasting pan breast side up.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and place the turkey in a roasting pan breast side up. Remove giblets, neck and body cavity from turkey (you can freeze them for later use). Place herbs inside cavity of turkey with any stuffing you choose to make.
Place foil over top of turkey, tucking edges under wings or legs if possible so it doesn’t come apart during cooking time. Cook for 15 minutes per pound plus 45 minutes if frozen; do not overcook!
Rub salt, pepper and other seasonings onto the skin of the turkey.
Seasoning the turkey is an important step in the cooking process. Seasoning helps to keep the turkey moist, and also adds flavor. Seasoning should be applied to the skin of your turkey, not its meat or stuffing (which may make your bird taste dry). If you’re making gravy from drippings from roasting your bird, don’t add any seasonings until after you’ve removed them from heat because they could burn off if left too long on high temperatures.
Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and set it to register 165 degrees F.
Next, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and set it to register 165 degrees F. Remove from oven when it reaches 165 degrees F, then allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Baste your bird with melted butter or a mixture of butter, juice from canned cranberry sauce and brown sugar for extra flavor. Cook for 15-20 minutes per pound for a frozen turkey (about 30 minutes per pound for a thawed bird).
Basting your turkey with melted butter or a mixture of butter, juice from canned cranberry sauce and brown sugar for extra flavor. Cook for 15-20 minutes per pound for a frozen turkey (about 30 minutes per pound for a thawed bird).
So there you have it. If you’re planning on cooking a turkey this holiday season, don’t let the cooking time scare you! Just follow these steps and enjoy your meal with friends and family.