Here’s an easy recipe and tips for how to roast a turkey! This is the best roast turkey recipe ever and everyone raves about how moist and delicious it is!
How To Roast A Turkey
If you don’t know how to roast a turkey, you’re going to love this super easy roast turkey recipe! There are only 2 ingredients and it takes just 5 minutes to prepare. Then it can roast in the oven overnight and will be perfectly juicy, moist and delicious just in time for your holiday meal!
I will actually be sharing 2 turkey recipes with you today. Both of them make wonderfully tasty and juicy Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey. The reason I’ll share 2 recipes is that the easiest turkey tastes amazing but is so fall off the bone tender that it does not have the crispy top traditional Christmas movie look.
The second recipe is also very delicious, but also has the classic crispy top look, in case you’re trying to wow your extended family with your Thanksgiving turkey roasting prowess! It’s slightly more time-consuming to prepare, but just as tasty!
Either way, you’re sure to have a juicy and delicious roast turkey!
If you choose the first recipe, the super easy turkey recipe, you can pretty much spend 5 minutes prepping it and then put it in the oven and leave it alone until it is done. The only extra work is turning down the temperature after an hour.
If you choose the second (slightly more complicated) recipe, be sure to baste regularly according to the recipe directions or the turkey will get dry. Also, be sure to add the water to the pan as directed if you start to run out of juices for basting to make sure that the turkey stays nice and moist.
Be Sure To Allow Sufficient Time To Thaw The Turkey!
Sometimes turkeys do not cook properly because they don’t get thawed. It is super important to properly thaw your turkey before you try to roast it. If you don’t thaw it ahead of time, you might find that it gets overly cooked on the outside and is still raw or undercooked in the middle. That would obviously not be good, so if necessary, set a reminder or write “thaw turkey” on the calendar so you don’t forget!
You need to allow 1 day of thawing time for every 4 lbs. of turkey. You can keep a thawed turkey in the fridge for at least 3-4 days, so if it is done thawing a little bit early, it won’t hurt anything. Thaw your turkey with the breast side down so the juices will run into the breast. (The turkey breast is the thick part of the meat that is usually on the top.)
Buy Whole Turkeys Around Holidays While They Are On Sale
Turkey isn’t expensive at all, especially around the holidays so stock up now. I got two turkeys today for $.39/lb. I had the butcher cut them in half just like last year and the year before!
If you haven’t heard of cutting them in half, you can often ask a butcher to cut a turkey in half and wrap the two halves separately. Normally, each half would be closer to the size of a chicken, so you can serve it in place of chicken for any normal size meal. We have a stand up freezer so I often buy extra turkeys when they are on sale. You can stock up during the holidays when turkey is cheap, serve turkey in place of chicken and save a bundle on your food bill!
How To Roast A No Fail Turkey!
This first recipe is my mom Jill’s roast turkey recipe. It is the one we all make the most often because of how super easy and delicious it is! It is a no-fail turkey recipe that literally only takes 5 minutes to prepare.
The secret to why this is a no-fail turkey recipe is that it is slow-cooked at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time, resulting in a perfectly moist and juicy turkey with very little work. Mom only uses this turkey recipe and I use this one most often because it is so easy.
Because this recipe calls for cooking the turkey upside down, the turkey meat ends up so tender that it falls off the bone without cutting. For this reason, you will want to serve this turkey already carved. If you have never cooked a turkey before or if you just like things to be as easy as possible and still taste great, this is the recipe for you.
This first roast turkey recipe does not have the traditional crispy top that you see in the movies, but it is amazingly delicious! If you really prefer to have a turkey that has the classic crispy top look, the roast sticky turkey recipe below can’t be beat.
Both recipes are juicy, tender and delicious! The biggest differences are that the super easy one is almost no work and the roast sticky turkey recipe requires more work but has the picture perfect crispy skin.
A Few Notes About Turkey Safety
Some people are concerned about roasting turkey this way because of the lower baking temperature of this recipe but it is perfectly safe if you start at 250° and then turn down to 200° after an hour. When it is finished, the internal temperature at the thigh should be 180° or higher.
Like chicken, you need to be sure to wash your hands after handling raw turkey before touching other things so you don’t contaminate surfaces and other foods.
Some people like to rinse their turkeys before cooking them, but we don’t recommend it. Rinsing is not necessary and can actually increase the likelihood of spreading dangerous bacteria everywhere as the water can carry germs to nearby surfaces. Cooking your turkey at the proper temperatures will kill harmful bacteria and as I like to say, no self-respecting germ would survive!
No-Fail Turkey Recipe – Super Easy!
This easy no-fail turkey recipe makes the best turkey you will ever eat! It is super tasty, moist and tender! The meat will just fall off the bones so you will have to serve it already carved. It will be very juicy and moist.
1 turkey, 20-22 lbs.
1 stick margarine or butter
- Defrost frozen turkey for several days in the refrigerator according to the directions on the package.
- Preheat oven to 250°.
- Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
- Remove the insides of the turkey and save for giblet gravy or for fried livers and gizzards.
- Lay turkey, breast side down, in the pan.
- Place the stick of butter on the inside.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 250° for 1 hour.
- Reduce heat to 200° and roast for 10-15 hours. Cooking time can be longer to fit your schedule. Test with a meat thermometer to make sure the temperature in the thigh is 180°.
If I have a 20-22 lb. turkey, I put it in the oven one hour before I go to bed (that way I can turn it down to 200° and sometimes I go down to 180° before I go to bed.) It will be done by noon the next day. Because it cooks at such a low temperature, if you aren’t going to eat until 1-2 PM, it will stay just fine in the oven until then.
If I have a smaller 10 lb. turkey, I put it in the oven early on Thanksgiving morning (about 6 or 7 AM in order to eat at noon. You don’t need to worry too much about it getting done. An hour or two before the meal, check it and see how it is doing. If it isn’t cooking quickly enough, you can always raise the temperature to 350°.
If you use a smaller 10 -12 lb turkey, you only need to use half of a stick (about 4 Tbsp.) of butter. You can also place it in a large crockpot on low.
Other Recipes That Go Great With Roast Turkey!
Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes – Dinner For 10 For Less Than $25! – Mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing, Sweet Potato Pie and More!
Easy Pie Recipes! 20 Of The Best Homemade Pie Recipes! (Oh YUM!!) – Apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, no-bake cheesecake and lots more!!
Dairy Free Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dinner! Easy Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes! I have to eat gluten free, so I adapted these Thanksgiving recipes to be gluten free!
25 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes And Ideas – Making the most of what is left!
These Roast Turkey Recipes Are In Volume 1 of Our Cookbook:
Click here to get our Dining On A Dime Cookbooks 25% Off NOW! They’re filled with tasty recipes and tips to make your life easier!
How To Roast A Prettier Turkey (with a little more work)
Here is another super delicious roast turkey recipe! If you want to know how to roast a turkey that is picture perfect with the crispy skin like you see in the classic movies, then this is the recipe for you. It takes a little bit more work than the super easy recipe above, but it’s still fairly easy and definitely delicious!
This recipe takes a little bit longer to prepare, but still not more than 10 minutes. In order to keep the crispy top from drying out and burning, you have to base it every 30-45 minutes as it bakes, which is easy but requires more of your attention than Mom’s turkey recipe above.
(If you haven’t done it before, basting a turkey is easy. You just pull the turkey partway out of the oven, spoon the juices over the top to keep it moistened and then slide it back into the oven until the next basting.)
The BEST Roast Sticky Turkey Recipe!
This easy roast sticky turkey recipe is a great way to roast a turkey! It is very easy to make and makes a great deli style turkey. The meat comes out very moist and flavorful. It also makes wonderful leftovers!
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 stick butter
1 20 lb. turkey
1 cup chopped onion or 1 sliced orange
- Combine all of the spices.
- Remove the giblets from the turkey.
- Rub the spice mixture into the turkey, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin.
- Place the stick of butter in the cavity.
- Place the seasoned turkey into a turkey roasting pan.
- Seal with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- When you’re ready to roast the turkey, preheat the oven to 250°.
- Stuff the cavity with onions or oranges.
- Roast, uncovered, at 250 degrees for 8-10 hours.
- After the first hour, baste the turkey with pan juices every half hour to 45 minutes. If you don’t have enough juices to baste after 3 hours, add 1 cup of water to the pan.
- The turkey will be golden to dark brown with caramelized juices on the bottom. Let the turkey rest about 10 minutes before carving.
Thanksgiving dinner is very frugal. I always get a FREE turkey because it comes with the ham I buy. We always have ‘David’s potatoes’, green bean casserole, a plate of stuffed celery, carrot sticks, pickles, broccoli florets,and devil eggs. We have home made rolls, cranberry sauce, and gravy. I always make 2 pumpkin pies and 2 pecan pies.
With this meal there are many many left overs to be made into something else for the next couple of weeks.
I found out a few years ago that if you add about 1/2 tsp of baking powder to your potatoes while mashing they come out much fluffier. I have absolutely no idea why this works, but it does.
A tip I learned years ago from a turkey farmer.
a full grown turkey has 12 lbs of bones.
so when judging how big a turkey you want the best idea is to not buy them under 12 lbs or you get more bones than meat. (unless you like soup.)
I usually buy them around 12-15 lbs since we are not big turkey eaters. this feeds 7 with left overs.
I like the idea of cutting the turkey in half…but…how would I cook it then? I have to admit that I am just not much a cook, but I would like to have the traditional feast even if it just my husband and me. LOL
what is the butter with the turkey for?
my mother used to take the wrapper from the butter and lay that on the top of the turkey but I never use butter.
I roast the turkey breast side down and it comes out moist and tender.
First Sharon you would lay it in the pan or roasting pan with the breast side down as much as possible then lay a chunk of butter (1/4 cup or half a stick for 1/2 a large turkey)on top of the cut side, cover in foil and bake. If the turkey won’t lay straight enough for the butter to melt on it I just wad up some balls of foil to wedge around the bottom of it if one side tilts too much.
It sounds complicated but it isn’t. Slap it in the pan breast side down, use a wad of foil at bottom if it is tilting, cover with foil and bake as in recipe above.
Grandma, the butter is to add a much richer and really good flavor plus add a little more moisture to it. That is why Butterball turkeys have been so popular for years. As their name says they would some how infuse the turkey with butter for a richer and better taste. They were also more expensive in price but you can get equally as good if not better flavor with a cheaper turkey by just adding the butter into the cavity.
I have never cared for the taste of butter so I guess that is why I never add it to turkey or chicken. Grew up with margarine and when I was pregnant could not walk down the hall of the apt. building without being sick if someone was cooking with butter. First sign I was pregnant.
A friend used to buy insulin needles at the drug store melt butter then use the needles to put butter right into the meat. Everyone said that it was the best turkey they ever had. I guess those infusers might be the same idea.
learn something new every day or it is a lost day.
thanks for the info. Knew it just forgot I did.
I always use butter. A Big test that every one should do with food. put a little butter next to a little bit of margarine on a plate out side, check back every 30 min and see what your local bugs thing. They will eat the butter but not the margarine, no food value. They won’t eat it I won’t eat it. It may sound crazy but mother nature knows best. Point is know what your eating, do your homework on all your foods. A good starting place look for NON-GMO FOODS.
God Bless All B.P.
P.S. Turkey came out great. Thanks.
I know what you are saying Bruce but I’m afraid I wouldn’t pass the mother nature test to well and eat the things she says we can. I was watching the birds pull a big fat worm from the ground and I am sure it was full of nutrients but there is no way I am going to eat one unless I am really desperate. : )
All I am going to say is dogs eat their own feces and vomit so you won’t catch me ever doing that test! If you don’t want to use margarine don’t use it.
Grandma, I said I use butter but I use margarine half of the time. This is one time you can use either or. It just adds such an nice richness to the turkey and gravy. I can’t quite describe it but most people who try it this way get hooked and can go back to making it any other way.
I have the book Not Just Beans. This recipe in it says to cook the turkey for “20-22 hours or more hours”. This recipe on the web says “roast for 10-15 hours.” Which one is correct? I am making a turkey for dinner Sunday afternoon. I will be going to church and coming home to eat with company. Thank you. My family and I LOVE your book by the way. I brag on it to most everyone I talk to. Thank you for being such a lifesaver in our finances and tastebuds!
Amanda it depends on the size turkey you are roasting. The one in Not Just Beans was for a very large 20-25 lb turkey the one on the web site is for a little smaller turkey.
If you are doing a 15-20 lb turkey for after church I would put it in the oven at 9 pm at 250 degrees for 1 hour then when you go to bed (say 10 pm) turn it down to about 150 to 175 degrees and it will be fine when you get home. If you don’t go to bed until 11 then put it in at 250 at 10 pm for an hour then turn down.
Baking at this low of a temperature it really is almost impossible to burn or over cook at all. That is why I like cooking most of my meats at this temp because if church runs over and I am late getting home by even a couple of hours I don’t have to worry about it.
It pretty much like crock pot cooking but you just do it in the oven.
Hope this helps.
PS don’t forget to put in a large chunk of butter or marg. in the breast cavity, turn it upside down and be sure to cover well or you will have turkey jerky if you don’t cover it.
When basting was the only way to have a moist turkey I had a laugh one year.
My grandmother was all for basting it.
I was quite young so couldn’t really help but I was sitting in the corner of the kitchen reading. Everyone else had left but in about 15 minutes this bird was basted 15 times.
First my grandmother came in and basted it. then each of my 4 aunts and did the exact same thing. Every hour the same thing happened.
Not sure if it was moister and tastier but it sure gave me a memory.
My other grandmother put it in the oven and forgot about it until about 1 hour before dinner she would take the lid off to let it brown.
Hers was just as good as my grandmothers with a lot less work.
My MIL used to cook her turkey in a big brown grocery bag. She said lots of people did until some agency told them it was unhealthy. She stopped but said her turkey was never tough or dry with that method.
I think it is what ever you grew up with that makes it good. I start with the basics and add or subtract them as I see what we like.
Jill- I’m so glad you posted this! I was beginning to believe that I was the only person alive who regularly roasts her turkey overnight! The other day I had described it in a comment on another blog. Another commenter had replied that what I was doing was not safe! So I’m especially glad that you mentioned checking the temperature in the thigh with a meat thermometer. The only things I do different from you is that I usually spray the bird with canola and add a bit of sage. I roast mine in an old blue roaster pan, lid on.
I am so happy you posted the instructions for roasting a turkey. I have never roasted my own before since we always eat at my Grandma’s or Mother-In-Law’s for Thanksgiving. They do the turkey, everyone else brings sides.
This year we are going to my Grandma’s but my hubby wants a turkey of our own for leftovers. I was feeling some panic as it seemed overwhelming. Now, I feel confident that I can handle this in a calm manner and be successful!
Tawra and Jill, I can’t say enough how much I appreciate you. Sometimes I feel so inept that at the age of 36 I don’t know how to do things…like roast a turkey. Lol! There are so many ‘basic’ things I missed out on learning from my Mom. She was a wonderful homemaker until she got sick (Epstein Barr Virus/CFS/FM) when I was 10. She could barely function, let alone take care of the house, cooking or teach her daughters basic cooking and housekeeping.
When I got married at the age of 20, I could cook spaghetti, Hamburger Helper, pancakes, french toast, fried potatoes and bake cakes/brownies from mixes. I’ve came a long way with just figuring it out by myself but every now and then I still run into basic things I should know how to do, but don’t. Your website is such a blessing!
Now, if you could just have articles teaching the basics of mending! Lol! That’s what I’m currently trying to figure out. :)
I have been doing this upside down, with the butter in the breast cavity forever….I also add for great flavor a couple of celery stalks/leaves and all(or the throwaway scraps of celery from dressing prep)and an onion cut in quarters in the breast cavity…all that flavor seeps into the otherwise dry breast meat…I have been known to sneak a few garlic cloves in there….lol
I have never done the turkey upside down like this but would like to try it. Being that my family INSISTS that the turkey is made WITH my famous stuffing, can I stuff it and leave it in overnight?
Bonnie I don’t usually stuff my turkey when I cook it this way but cook the stuffing separate the next day.
Plus the turkey is so tender and juicy you can’t hardly get it out of the pan because it falls off the bone and it would be hard to deal with the stuffing in it.
Here’s how I make gravy turn out better when the juices after cooking are pale, which can happen when you use one of the self-basting turkeys. I’ve noticed that even the basic bargain turkeys are more likely to have some basting solution and I think it messes up the gravy process. After the turkey is done, I pour the turkey juices into a large skillet and cook it on high and let it boil off. I watch it carefully and turn the heat down as the water evaporates and the pan drippings get more concentrated, then I proceed to make gravy according to typical recipes. It can take awhile but it’s worth it to get rich deep turkey gravy flavor. This also works great for roast chicken and other meats.
I usually put the extra wrapped in foil and about 2 hours before I take the bird out I toss the foil pack in with the turkey. Put a few steam holes and they pick up the flavour of the bird better.
In the past I’ve put the stuffing in the bird and what I couldn’t get in I would put in a seperate dish to bake. Everyone would rather have the stuffing in the bird as it was so moist and tasty from the juices soaking in. The other would be dryer…guess I’ll just leave it out this time and try your method…can’t wait.
Bonnie try covering your stuffing with foil and see if that doesn’t help keep it moist plus make it just a tad moister by adding a little milk or broth to it before you bake it.
Thanks for the instructions. I think Thanksgiving is the easiest holiday to cook. Turkey is super easy and so are all the fixings. Also, I never spend that much for the meal. I usually cook for about 20-25 people. This year, since all the kids are 14-21, I may also cook a ham. Last year, I cooked a 24 lb turkey and we had just enough.
To prevent drying on most covered items cooked in a dish FIRST cover the dish with SARAN WRAP or similar. Then cover with foil. This holds the steam in. You can run the tops under the broiler if you want the top crisper but don’t want to risk the whole thing getting dried out.
For a super simple gravy—with a great taste and texture—no lumps!–
When turkey is cooked –and I scatter some of the pre-seasoned stuffing cubes on the pan to make more flavorful gravy—remove to a warm place. Tilt the pan CAREFULLY and skim off a lot of the fat—this is easy with a small ladle. Add a bunch of water—now this is a “judgement call” I add at LEAST a quart for a 20 or so pound turkey. Later on you can adjust this. Also you can add some WINE red or white. Start to heat and scrape up all the lovely “bits”. Add a bunch of PEPPER—more than you would think!–and if you like it a sprinkle of garlic powder.
Now you will need some GOOD TAMARI OR SOY SAUCE—not that Kikkoman –um– stuff. Add a good glug—I get mine at a Food Co-Op and it is dark and rich and NOT salty and raw like the supermarket bottles.
After adding the tamari/soy—taste for flavors. Bring to boil.
Meanwhile mix TWO HEAPING TABLESPOONS of CORN STARCH and 1/4 CUP COLD WATER.
Turn OFF the gravy (You can transfer the whole thing to a sauce pan BTW) and gradually whisk in the CORN STARCH MIX. When all is mixed in return to heat on MED or HI and bring just to boil, turn down and simmer.
This can also be made with any stock or broth or the broth you make from the turkey wing tips, parts etc.
One tip I have used to make gravy in quantity–
Use several turkey parts like wings, legs etc. Place some cut up carrots and celery and a cut up onion in the bottom of either a roaster or a crock pot. Season. Dab with butter. Cook until done. When cooked either cool and save until you want to make gravy (or as a base for soup!) or proceed.
Add these parts to a large stock pot for soup.
For GRAVY use the drippings as above.
When I make turkey the bird is OK but the BEST thing is TURKEY SOUP.
Dump all of your left over turkey parts and stuffing–YES!!!!—bones etc. into a stock pot. Add some carrots, an onion, celery or leaves. Cover with COLD WATER and bring to boil. Skim if wanted. Lower and simmer for—well, until you think it is done! Place a large colander INSIDE a large bowl and using a slotted ladle or a Chinese ladle strainer lift out all the bits. Pour the broth that is in bowl into the pot. Taste for seasoning. If you like the results ADD ANY LEFT OVER GRAVY TO THE BROTH. This adds something AMAZING—deeper flavor, some thickness, just—something. (Can be used for chicken too or even mixed parts) Add a few CHICKEN BOUILLION CUBES for Grand Ma’s Secret Flavor.
To serve you can add veggies, left over turkey or chicken cut up, noodles, dumplings—or if you are MY family do not DARE serve with out—Matzoh Balls.
A. Maz. Ing. What chicken soup wants to be when it grows up.
I am anxious to try the overnight turkey, but I also don’t want anyone to get sick. I have read online that it isn’t a safe temperature 180- 200. I just want to verify putting a 22 lb turkey in at 11 @ 200 and not eating until 1pm. Is this going to be a good time? Thank you so much.
When I called the county extension they said if the internal temp. is 165 then it’s fine.
When would you put the turkey in the oven if you were going to eat at 1 pm?
If you are doing a 22 lb. turkey I would put it in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour before you go to bed (between 9 – 11o’clock). Turn it down to 200 then before you go to bed. In the morning you can check it. If it looks like it is getting almost done (falling of the bone etc) then turn it down to 175 degrees or less until you are ready for it.
If it doesn’t look like it is cooking fast enough just turn it up to 225 or 250. Don’t panic you have 5 or so more hours to cook it if this is the case.
So many worry about the low temp but it really isn’t a problem. If you think about it when beef jerky is made the temperature is only set at 145 – 155 degrees and most people don’t worry about eating it. Speaking of beef jerky the only real important thing about slow cooking your turkey is to make sure it is covered and sealed around the edges well other wise it could dry out.
Here is the way we did our turkey this year and it was WONDERFUL:
1. We defrosted our 20lb. turkey from Saturday to Wednesday.
2. We filled our (clean) cooler with 2 cups of salt, 1 cup of brown sugar and the rest cold water and ice. Submerged the turkey in there, covering it.
3. Let it soak overnight. Rinsed it the next morning.
4. Put it in a throw away aluminum pan, added an inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Cut up an apple, half of an onion and a half dozen cloves of garlic, stuffed the bird with that.
5. Rubbed a stick of butter all over the bird, salted lightly and peppered.
6. Set the oven for 500 degrees, let the bird cook about 2.5 hours. Kept watch and when it started browning up, tented it with aluminum foil to keep the outside from getting too brown.
7. It was falling off the bone good and everyone raved. It even made wonderful sandwiches (we just finished the last of it today), not dry or anything!
With it being just he 2 of us, my wife & I just do not do the entire thanksgiving day thing…neither one of us has any family, nor a vehicle to go anywhere…tho even if we did have a motor car, I have no idea where we would go.
So we ust sit at home & enjoy each other’s company like we usually do every other day…
Here in Canada, we are always told to allow 20 minutes for every 1 lb. of turkey weight, to cook it at 325 to 350 degrees. If you start out with a thawed turkey, a pre-heated oven and no dressing in the bird, this works out about right. So a 20 lb. bird would take about 6 & 1/2 hours. Since ovens vary in temperature, I allow about 1/2 hour per pound, starting at 325 degrees, with a stuffed bird and don’t bother pre-heating the oven. A 20 lb. bird would take (in theory) 10 hours. Around about the 7 hour mark, I would “peek” in on the bird. I can either turn the temp. up or down a bit to adjust for the predicted dinner hour. It is not uncommon for me to have the turkey on a low in a slow oven for the last hour, while I cook up potatoes, etc. Hope this helps with estimating cooking times.
My husband and I love turkey, so even though we are empty nesters, we will still cook up a good sized turkey for just the two of us. Once the bird is thoroughly cooked, we separate the breast meat from the carcass and freeze it in large ziploc bags. (One bag for each breast). This will be hauled out for another day for a whole separate meal. If the breast meat is mostly frozen in one large piece, it is very nice to slice for sandwiches on another day. We also de-bone all the other meat from the carcass, and freeze it in appropriate size portions for the freezer, to use for other meals. Of course, we leave a small casserole sized dish of turkey meat in the refrigerator for turkey sandwiches over the day or two following roasting day. We do the same thing with large roasting chickens that we get from the local Mennonite farmers.
I just watched your video on making turkey gravy. The drippings that you use: does it thicken like
jello after getting cold. That’s what happens to mine and to my gravy when it cools. So I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong.
Thanks for all of your recipes and videos.
Yes Joyce is does thicken like jello when it gets cold. All you have to do is just warm it up and will liquefy again.If you need add a tiny tiny bit of water to it but you shouldn’t have too. Also Tawra didn’t show this in the video but I sometimes add the thickening and then let it cook (on low) for about 10 mins.If it still isn’t thick enough then I add more cornstarch or flour which ever you use and then cook about 5 mins. more. I do my gravy first that way it can cook the 10 mins while I am mashing the potatoes or getting other things ready because it can set on a back burner keeping warm while I do the rest of the things.
Betty Lynn Radcliffe
Hi everyone! I love all of your suggestions, so here comes mine. I cook the turkey in a cooking bag for turkeys (or for me LOL) and cook it at 350 for however how long it needs (read the cooking bag box) and my turkeys always come out moist and tasty. I’ve used these bags for years. That way I don’t have to put the turkey in the oven for so many hours. Saves on electricity and me because if I had to cook that turkey all those hours I would worry myself to death thinking about if it is cooking or if it’s ready or whatever. That’s the way I cook my turkey!!!
Happy Turkey Day Everyone!!!!! Betty Lynn Radcliffe :)
Thanks so much for the free tg e-book! The turkey was wonderful and we only spent $15 max on our whole meal
You are welcome Stella. So glad your turkey turned out. I hold my breath every year for everyone’s turkey to turn out with no disasters like Tawra dropping her’s last year and one year (my first serving Thanksgiving) I stuck mine on the fridge for a minute and forgot it until the meal was almost over. I was busy up serving and things and didn’t notice and all my guests were too polite to say anything. We should have told everyone that if something does happen to your turkey don’t panic. It will be the Thanksgiving everyone laughs about and fondly remembers later.
We tried to purchase a turkey at a chain grocery store and the meat department said they could not cut it in half for us.
I does depend on the store although the places I have been to here in Ks have been pretty good about doing it and I think Tawra has had good luck with that in Co. I have noticed the past couple of years they are starting to have smaller turkeys at the same cheap price so that helps too.
We usually. Do. A 12 lb. Turkey. How long should. You. Roatit doing. Your. Recipe
About 4-5 hrs. if you are going to eat at 1 in the afternoon then put it in about 7 in the morning. The thing is if dinner gets delayed or anything with this method you can cook it for an extra couple of hours because the temp is so low you can’t really burn it. An hour before the meal check it and if it looks like it isn’t cooking fast enough then you can turn it up to 350 and it will do fine.
we got tjis year a fresh turkey,21 lbs. i have a big roaster and put it in on lowest temp. It was so nicely done the next day. sometimes i put a cut up lemon in or i put herbs in butter and put it between the shin, very carefully.
from leftovers we made a casserole, or a Dutch recipe, croquettes.Thank you!!
Just found your blog!!
My solution to cooking turkey is to have a son in law who wants a big one so he can have sandwiches, so you grow old, tell him you can’t even lift a 20 pound turk (true) and tell him has to cook. He is delighted because he loves to cook, I am happy because he is a very good cook! Gramma
Hi Jill: thought you would enjoy this. When I was newly married, we lived with my parents, and for a ridiculous reason, our stove with the oven was in the basement (Please don’t ask, dreadful family story, LOL) anyway, I baked 2 pies and was bringing them hot from the basement upstairs, and realized there were 2 big German shepherds panting at the top of the stairs waiting for me. You guessed it, I panicked, the board with both pies flipped down the stairs and as I stared in horror, both dogs ate my pies in their entirety, steam and all! When my husband asked what was for dessert the next day, my mother replied, “jello, and if I were you, I wouldn’t ask!”)
Oh that is too funny although I can imagine it was awful at the time. At my ancient age I have learn though that those types of things are what make happy memories later. We just don’t realize is until years later. This is a new one on me though. I have heard of turkeys being dropped, not thawed in time, tried to cook frozen, and forgotten to be put on the table but never pies eaten by the dogs. Will have to tell Tawra this one. LOL
How would you cook a turkey in an instapot?
Bonnie you may have to google it because I don’t own an instant pot and have always just done mine in the oven like this. I can put it in the oven the night before or early morning and just leave it. That way I don’t have to worry about it while I fix all of the rest of my dinner.
Karen M. Bourgeois
I have a question. I am going to roast my turkey your way this year. My husband is not a fan of turkey because he says it is too dry. So I excited to try it this way. My question is: is there anyway, maybe at the end of cooking to remove the foil, add some butter or oil, so the skin can crisp up?
You can remove the foil the last 30 mins. or so and turn the heat up to about 350 degrees. That should help crisp it up a little. The thing is though with this turkey is that you turn it upside down and bake it breast side down. By doing it this way all of the juice and the stick of butter you put in the cavity soaks into the breast of the turkey. What happens is it is so tender and juicy it just falls off of the bone and the skin and everything else pretty much falls off too the minute you touch it to cut it or take it out of the pan. As a matter of fact it is so tender and juicy I usually can’t really cut it but just pick the meat out out of the pan. You may have to sacrifice the brown skin (which I love too)but you will never have tasted a juicier or tender turkey doing it this way.
I’ve read through all the comments and I’m wondering about using the rack that came with the roasting pan. I didn’t see anyone mention using the rack.I’ve always used it in the past. This year I’m using your recipe. Your roast sticky chicken is phenominal!
No don’t use the rack Joan. The meat cooks in the butter that is in the cavity and it’s own juices which makes the turkey so juicy that you can just see juices running off of the meat.
Has anyone used this recipe in an electric roaster? I was thinking of using mine, but people say roaster ovens cook faster. Thought?
You can Barbara I would just bake at 250 degrees for an hour then turn it all the way down to 170 degrees. As a matter of fact I use to bake mine at 150 for over night. Main thing is keep the temp low.
My turkey was raw. I put it in at 8am cooked at 200 until 1 raw at 200 increased the temperature to 375 for another 2 hours and we were able to salvage most of the breast but the dark meat was raw. I was so embarrassed being we had company this year. Awful
If you don’t follow the recipe it’s not going to turn out.
Can you do this slow cooking method with turkey cooking bags for a 20 lb turkey? Also, how many hours total for a 20 lb turkey at 200 degrees? Thanks!
This method is perfect for cooking bags. It takes a 20 lb turkey about 10 hours to bake. I like to just stick it in the oven right before I go to bed and let it cook all night. It is really good if you can plan your meal for noon but don’t worry. If it gets done early I just slice it, cover it with foil and then warm it up right before serving. You don’t need to worry that warming it for a few minutes will dry out the turkey. Cooked this way the turkey is just dripping in juices.
If you want after 10 hrs you can turn the heat down to 150 or so and just leave it in the oven. The thing is with it being covered and the heat so low it can’t over cook.
If you like a crisp brown skin you can uncover it, turn oven up to 450 degrees and bake for 15-20 mins. to crisp the skin.
One last warning: turkeys are so good this way that your family will not ever want to eat it made any other way. LOL
I just used your method of roasting turkey for probably the 5th or 6th time, and it turned out perfectly as always. I got the recipe from your cookbook, and next to the recipe I have written: Makes very good turkey with lots of juice. Be sure pan is large enough to hold all the juice (since it cooks while you sleep). Very easy to cook and to “pick”.
Since I first tried your recipe several years ago, this is the only recipe I use. I love having so much drippings for making gravy and adding to my baked dressing. Thanks for this great recipe.
Thanks Jeanne for telling us this. I just told Tawra about your comment and I am so glad too you mentioned putting it in a big enough pan so we can tell others. I have made my turkey this way for 45 yrs now and you can sometimes forget those little details. I too love too use the juice for gravy because it seems the gravy is even richer than normal gravy and I love adding it to the dressing but I forget to mention it to people so thank you for reminding us and so glad it is working for you. Jill
I absolutely love this recipe for roasting turkey. It’s the only one I use! I love your Ding on a Dime cookbook too!
Oh thank you so much Pat! I know people sometimes think we are crazy how we go on about doing turkeys this way but it tastes so good and is so easy to make. It is nice to know there are other “crazies” like us in the world who like it. : ) : )
What about for a 15 pound turkey?
You can put it in over night for about 10 hrs. The thing is with baking this way it is ok to leave it in for an hour or so longer and because it is well sealed and baking at such a low temp it won’t hurt it. If you can think of it as using your oven as a crockpot it might help.
I have been cooking turkeys over night in a roaster pan for 30 years. They have always turned out GREAT! This is the first time I’ve heard about putting a stick of butter in the cavity and will definitely do that on Wednesday.
No Seasoning on Turkey #1?! How does it have any flavor?
I’ve done Sticky Chicken before so I’m sure that would make a good turkey; I will try it on my next one. I’m not a fan of Turkey (other than the wings) so I just season it with garlic powder, sea salt, lemon pepper, and I usually shove a whole garlic and a thick slice of onion in the cavity. People seem to like it. I canned the last 2 I was given and just roasted the wings and the carcass (still had plenty of meat on them).
Oh the turkey itself seasoned with just salt and the butter roasted in it is soooo good and most of our people that have cooked it this way love it. It has a really good flavor. What happens and why most people don’t like turkey is because it hasn’t been prepared right and is often dry with no juice or flavor – that is why everyone loves it cooked this way – it is always a really pleasant surprise. It is soo good with only the salt and butter.
Hi Jill Tawra and Mike and Family,
My family (well the family I always did Thanksgiving and Holidays with) moved in 2020 out of State and my adult kids
too right before Pandemic so it has been a while since I’ve seen them. It is just me but these past 2 yrs now almost 3, I have enjoyed getting a 14 to 17 pound Turkey usually around 69 cents a pound or fresh, their less! Last year 38 cents a pound and freezing it and having a few Neighbors over who are alone. I usually get the ShadyBrook Farms Turkeys, that is what I get where I go. I just cooked up my 17 pounder for Pot Luck meals with your EASY TURKEY RECEPIE. Honestly prayed over the Turkey for 14 hours , lol.. It’s awesome. I have an electric oven and was worried it would turn off or have a power surge but it stayed on at 200 F, It made LOTS of juice, fall off the bone juicy, making it easy to pop in my stock pot for BROTH and STOCK! Thank you so much! I usually use a Turkey bag and cook it at 350F and it is done in 3 hours , this was admittedly kinda ugly but BETTER in so many ways:)
When making gravy from the juices for this how long can I freeze garvy? Thank you so much!, Maria- The Maria that falls asleep watching all your video and wakes to them.. Its not your boring, not at all its my eyes get tired from computer screen! Peace N Love
LOL Maria : ) We have so much trouble sleeping ourselves that we don’t mind at all even if you had to use our video to help you sleep. LOL So glad our turkey recipe worked for you and thanks for letting us know so others will be encouraged to try it. I had to laugh because I felt the same way the first time I baked mine that way too. I just could not imagine you could cook one that way and have it turn out. I appreciate the fact too and give you a thumbs up for not feeling sorry for yourself at Thanksgiving with your family so far away but instead found a way to make it not only nice for you but for others. I know I say this all the time but we have the sweetest best viewers. : )
What about a 13lb Turkey how long would
you cook it? Can’t wait to try your upside down roasted Turkey!
Dawn this is cooked on such low heat that you really can’t over cook it. What I would do is put it in the oven about 10-10:30 or when you go to bed. When you get up in the morning you can check it and if the meat is falling off the bones it is done. Place the meat on a platter and cover then then right before the meal just warm it up a little. It is so moist that warming it doesn’t dry it out or anything and it tastes just like it came out of the oven.