Roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving can be challenging, whether you’re a cooking novice or a culinary whiz. But by following these 8 easy steps for slow-roasting the bird, you’ll prepare a tender, juicy turkey that your whole family will be thankful for. Here’s how:
- Remove giblets from turkey cavity and wash inside of thawed or fresh turkey well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Place turkey breast-up on a flat rack in a shallow pan, 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep.
- Brush or rub skin with extra-virgin olive oil to prevent it from drying and to enhance the golden color.
- Insert oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh muscle but not touching the bone. (Or, use an instant-reading thermometer toward the end of cooking to test doneness.)
- Place turkey in the oven.
- When turkey is about two-thirds done (see the roasting schedule below), loosely cover breast and top of drumsticks with a piece of lightweight foil to prevent overcooking.
- Start checking to see whether turkey is cooked about 1/2 hour before recommended end time. Turkey is done when the meat thermometer reaches 180ºF (for an unstuffed turkey) in the thickest part of the thigh and the juices run clear when the thigh muscle is deeply pierced.
|Net Weight (in pounds)||Unstuffed (in hours)|
|10 to 18||3 to 3 1/2|
|18 to 22||3 1/2 to 4|
|22 to 24||4 to 4 1/2|
|24 to 30||4 1/2 to 5|