Ever wonder how to roast the perfect turkey? I had no idea how to cook a turkey the first year I hosted Thanksgiving. I just knew I wanted all of my family together in one place. If that meant that I had to learn how to roast the perfect turkey, so be it. I’d do it. That’s how I learned how to roast a turkey.
I did a lot of research online and on Pinterest before I dove deep into this recipe. I wanted to prepare the best tasting, most moist turkey that ever graced a Thanksgiving tablescape and I did a pretty good job on my first year. By year two, I had all the kinks worked out and there’s been no turning back since.
This turkey recipe is very easy and has worked better than beautifully for me for the past 7 years. I am not a domestic diva but there are a few things that I can really cook so well that it will knock the taste right outta your mouth..turkey is one of those things. So, I want to share with you all my secret of how to roast the perfect turkey. Thanksgiving is my holiday our entire family, both sides come to our house because the Big Guy and I absolutely know how to roast the perfect turkey. I know people deep fry, rotisserie and all sorts of creative ideas but when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I like my turkey traditional. Today I will share with you what I’ve perfected as the sure-fire way of how to roast the perfect turkey.
READ ALSO: How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
15. I do not stuff my bird with stuffing when roasting, it slows down the cooking process. I fear if I did, I’d have to title this post How to get Salmonella rather than How to roast the perfect turkey.
16. Place your turkey with a loosely tented piece of lightweight foil atop the breast and top of drumsticks to prevent overcooking in the pre-heated oven at 325 degrees. If you place your dark roasting lid on the turkey it will speed up the roasting process. I prefer to cook my turkey slowly. Think of that lid as Pitocin for your turkey, it will speed up the process but it might not give you the best results. The turkey may be drier than it would have been otherwise.
17. I check the turkey about every hour and baste it in its juices. This helps keep the skin moist and helps to brown the turkey. Yes, I do realize that I am obsessed with keeping my turkey moist. Have you ever had dry turkey? It’s almost impossible to eat and I don’t want to choke to death on Thanksgiving.
18. Use the roasting schedule below as a guide and start checking for doneness about 30 minutes before the end of recommended cooking times.
19. When the turkey is about 2/3 done, uncover the turkey to allow for the skin to cook to a beautiful golden brown. This is the perfect time to start preparing those final side dishes like the recipe for those delicious stuffed sweet potatoes I found on Lady and the Blog.
20. Your turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches the following temperatures:
180 degrees deep in the thigh. At this temperature, juices should be clear, not reddish pink when thigh muscle is pierced deeply.
165 degrees in the center of the stuffing, if the turkey is stuffed.
21. Lift roasted turkey onto a platter with turkey lifter and discard lifter.
22. Before removing stuffing and carving, let your turkey stand 15 minutes to allow juices to set. Garnish as you like, I use citrus and cranberries. This is how to roast the perfect turkey.
How to roast the perfect turkey every time
|Net Weight (lb.)||Unstuffed (hrs.)||Stuffed (hrs.)|
|4½ to 7||2 to 2½||2¼ to 2¾|
|7 to 9||2½ to 3||2¾ to 3½|
|9 to 18||3 to 3½||3¾ to 4½|
|18 to 22||3½ to 4||4½ to 5|
|22 to 24||4 to 4½||5 to 5½|
|24 to 30||4½ to 5||5½ to 6¼|
I know there are many ways to roast the perfect turkey but this is what has worked for me for many Thanksgivings. How do you roast your perfect turkey? What are your favorite Thanksgiving sides? What are your must haves at Thanksgiving? Stay tuned, I will be sharing a few of my favorite sides over the next week. How to roast the perfect turkey is the key to how to have a perfect Thanksgiving with your loved ones.