How delicious was this dish?
Roasting a Free Range Turkey
- Preparing for oven: Remove giblet bag from turkey, rinse and pat dry. Check both cavities for extra parts.
- Preheat oven: To 325°
- Stuffed: Prepare your favorite dressing recipe. Never stuff the turkey the night before or several hours before roasting, as the temperature in the bird’s cavity remains warm long enough for bacteria that causes food poisoning to multiply. The stuffing should be loosely packed into the neck and the body cavities. Do not overstuff, as the stuffing will expand while cooking. Allow 1/2 to 3/4 cups stuffing per pound of turkey. If your recipe makes more stuffing than the bird will hold, wrap remaining mixture in foil and bake alongside the bird in the pan during the last half hour of roasting. After stuffing, tuck drumsticks back into clamp or skin band. The neck should be skewered to back.
- Unstuffed: Rub salt generously in cavities and, if desired, insert a few pieces of celery, carrot and onion to improve flavor. Fold neck skin to the back and fasten with skewer. Fasten legs down by tying or tucking under skin band.
- Meat Thermometers: There are two ways to insert a thermometer in turkeys. If a bird is stuffed, insert it through the large meaty muscle of the inside thigh without touching the bone. Unstuffed, insert it in the meaty portion of the bone. When the turkey is done, the reading should be 180° to 185°. The stuffing in the center should be 160°.
- Roasting the Turkey: Prepare turkey as directed and place, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. If the bird is browning too fast, tent loosely with foil or cover breast with butter soaked cheesecloth.
- Roast turkey at 325° * according to this timetable:
- Net Weight (in pounds) => Stuffed (in hours) => Unstuffed (in hours)
- 8 to 12 => 3 to 4 => 2 1/2 to 3 1/2
- 12 to 16 => 4 to 5 => 3 1/2 to 4 1/2
- 16 to 20 => 5 to 5 1/2 => 4 1/2 to 5
- 20 to 24 => 5 1/2 to 6 => 5 to 5 1/2
- 24 to 28 => 6 to 6 1/2 => 5 1/2 to 6
|Note:||Be sure your oven has pre-heated to 325°.|