Here you will find easy step-by-step instructions that will result in the best juiciest turkey you will ever have! cooking the turkey breast-side down will create a tender juicy turkey without brining or using other methods --- if you are stuffing the turkey you will need approximately 8 cups of prepared stuffing for an 18-pound turkey --- the cooking time for this recipe is for an 18-pound stuffed turkey cooked at 325 degrees F but you have the option of stuffing or not --- my best advise for a beginner is to use a meat thermometer inserted in the breast area, this way you will be assured that your turkey is cooked to the proper temperature, you can cover the uncooked stuffed turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight and just pop it in the oven the following mid-morning or whenever you are ready to cook the turkey --- make certain that you have lots of chicken broth handy for this recipe as you will most likely need to keep adding more into the pan while cooking --- see cooking times on the bottom for whole turkeys --- see my Kittencal's Easy No-Fail Make Anytime Turkey Gravy
- Set oven to 325 degrees F, convection oven heat set to 320 degrees F.
- Set oven rack to lowest position.
- Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity.
- Rinse the turkey well with cold water inside and out then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place the turkey on a rack on a roasting pan.
- In a small bowl mix together the melted butter with oil (I also like to add in 1 teaspoon garlic powder with the oil/butter mixture if you are a garlic-lover then use it).
- Fill the inside cavity loosley with prepared stuffing (if you are not using stuffing then tie the legs together with cotton butchers twine).
- Using clean hands rub the outside of the turkey with the oil/butter/garlic mixture.
- Season the turkey all over with salt and lots fresh ground black pepper.
- If you are NOT stuffing the bird place breast-side down on the rack, if stuffing leave breast-side up.
- Place/tent a large piece of heavy foil over the turkey.
- Place the pan in the oven, then pour about 4-5 cups chicken broth in the pan.
- Keep basting the turkey about every 30-40 minutes with the pan juices on the bottom of the pan (removing the foil and re-tenting every time you baste).
- If you see the juices starting to evaporate then add in more broth to the pan about 2 cups at a time.
- After about 2-1/2 hours of cooking time remove the foil.
- Keep roasting (325 degrees F) until the internal thermometer reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).
- The total cooking time for this 18-pound stuffed bird should be about 4 hours.
- Transfer the cooked turkey to a large serving platter, cover loosley with foil and let rest 30 minutes before carving (DO NOT slice the turkey before 30 minutes or all juices will flow out of the bird!).
- **NOTE** cooking times for whole turkeys cooked at 325 degrees are as follows.
- For an 8-12 pound turkey, roast for 2-3/4 to 3 hours.
- For a 12-14 pound turkey, roast for 3 to 3-3/4 hours.
- For a 14-18 pound turkey, roast for 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 hours.
- For an 18-20 pound turkey, roast for 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hours.
Very moist and tender, I cooked mine unstuffed, kept it breast side down for 3 of the 4 hours and then flipped it over to brown the breast, basting every 40 min. or so. I put 5 cups of broth in at the beginning and never had to add more..in fact, I ended up with triple what I started with due to the juice from the turkey! Delicious.
this produced a really yummy turkey, but I want to point out that convection ovens should NOT be turned down to 320. I did that, and although the turkey was delicious, it took more than 2 hours longer than expected.
Thank you for this how-to on roasting a turkey. I love turkey, but never learned how to roast one. Somehow my 24-lb. turkey was so moist and tender at 4 1/2 hours that it literally fell apart. This is an easy, non-intimidating recipe for anyone that's afraid of tackling the big bird. Thanks for teaching me!