10 Steps to Cooking the Perfect Turkey

By Heather Wirtz November 21, 2017

Roasting a turkey can be intimidating, but really it is quite simple.

Follow these steps below and you will be on your way to serving a perfect turkey this year!

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Remove turkey from packaging and be sure to remove the neck and giblets.
3. Place turkey in a suitable roasting pan and brush outside with melted butter and then season.
4. Put turkey in oven and reduce temp to 350 degrees (Note: the turkey will need to cook at this temp for 15 minutes per pound).
5. Cook for 1 hour.
6. After 1 hour, begin basting the turkey every 15 minutes for the remainder of the cooking time.
7. The turkey is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (Note: always insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey).
8. If the turkey is stuffed, stuffing must also reach an internal temp of 165 degrees.
9. Remove turkey from oven and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before carving.
10. When carving, be sure to use a sharp knife and slice against the grain.

You can also try:
*Brining the turkey before baking.
*Stuffing the cavity of the turkey with cut up oranges and lemons. This will keep the white meat moist while cooking and also adds a nice citrus note to the basting liquid.
*Instead of a whole turkey, you can roast a hotel breast (just the white meat parts of a turkey). Follow the same cooking instructions as above, but start basting after 20 minutes.
*Many readers said they like to use a cooking bag for the turkey to save on the mess. While we agree that using a bag will help save the mess, we like the crispy skin too much to use one.
*Cornish hens or quail also make nice alternatives to the traditional turkey and take much less time to cook.