Classic Roast Turkey Recipe
- Adjust oven rack to lower third of oven to accommodate turkey roasting pan. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Remove the thawed turkey from its packaging (See How to Thaw a Turkey, Recipe #R0545).
- Remove the neck and giblets (the heart, liver and gizzard of the turkey which are great for making gravy) from the chest cavity.
- Remove the wire that holds the drumsticks in place by pushing down on drumsticks and squeezing the wire.Next, fold wing tips behind the bird to allow the turkey to cook more evenly. For a neater presentation, truss the turkey.
- Set a rack (a non-stick v-rack is the best) in a shallow roasting pan. Oil the rack. Place the turkey, breast side up, on the rack. Season the bird with salt and pepper and rub with butter or vegetable oil. Add 2 to 4 cups water or broth to roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the lower third of the preheated oven.
- Lower oven temperature to 325°F for a conventional oven (300°F for a convection oven).
- Roast turkey for one hour. Baste the bird with a baster or a large spoon.* Continue to baste turkey every 30 minutes and check the temperature. For best results use a meat thermometer inserting it into the thickest part of the thigh not touching the bone (if you touch the bone the reading could be false). If the turkey is browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil. Turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches 165°F at the thickest part of the thigh.
- Before carving, let the turkey stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This allows the meat to rest so you will have a more tender, juicy bird. (See Turkey Carving Techniques, Recipe #514)
- *Basting adds color and flavor to the turkey and keeps if from drying out. To baste, use a bulb baster or large spoon to collect pan drippings and spread them evenly over the entire bird.
- TURKEY WEIGHT: ROASTING TIME:
- -8 to 12 lbs 3 to 3-1/2 hrs
- -12 to 14 lbs 3-1/2 to 4 hrs
- -14 to 18 lbs 4 to 4-1/2 hrs
- -18 to 20 lbs 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hrs
- -20 to 24 lbs 4-3/4 to 5-1/4 hrs