Always Perfect Roast Turkey

"Using this method a turkey will cook in as little as 2 hrs or less! This is a basic recipe. You will get excellent results and you can dress it up with additions of a marinade soak or more seasonings to suit your liking. Roasting time will depend on the size of your turkey, clearly a 22 lb turkey will take longer than a 12 lb bird. Use of a thermometer is paramount here, do not rely on times."
photo by KateL photo by KateL
photo by KateL
Ready In:
1 roasted turkey




  • Important info: Be sure that your oven is clean as this is cooked at a constant very high heat and it's nice not to have a smoking oven!. Bring the bird to room temp before roasting as it will cook more evenly and quicker.
  • Preheat over to 475 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and discard truss that holds turkey legs together. Pull or trim off and discard any excess fat in neck or body cavity. Remove giblets and neck (use for gravy or in stuffing if desired).
  • Rinse turkey inside and out with warm water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Place a roasting rack in a 13 x 16 x 3-inch roasting pan (set rack sides so the bird is a minimum of 2 inches from pan bottom).
  • Rub turkey skin generously all over with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set bird breast-side-up on rack. Pull wings away from body, then firmly twist them to push the wing tips under the bird (I find this easier to do before placing the bird onto the rack).
  • Using aluminum foil, form caps over the tips of the end of each drumstick. If any parts of the turkey extend beyond pan rim, fashion a foil collar underneath to make sure drippings flow back into pan. Do not tie legs together (stuff if desired, in which case you will close body cavity. These days I always cook the stuffing separately).
  • Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer near the center of the breast through thickest part until the tip touches bone, which is most accurate spot to check doneness.
  • When oven temperature is reached set pan on the lowest rack in a 475° oven. Roast, checking as directed during cooking, until thermometer reaches 160° (my built in oven probe says NOT to touch bone, maybe it's a difference in thermometer types?). Halfway through roasting time, rotate pan in oven to assure even cooking and browning. If areas on turkey breast start to get browner than you like, lay a piece of foil over the dark areas.
  • Remove pan from oven, set in a warm spot, and loosely cover pan with foil to keep it warm. Rearrange oven racks to accommodate potatoes and dressing. Decrease oven temperature to 400º. Let turkey rest 30 to 60 minutes. The resting period will allow the internal temperature to reach 165°, the USDA safe cooking temperature for poultry.
  • Drain juices from body cavity (often plentiful in unstuffed birds) into roasting pan. Transfer turkey to a platter or rimmed cutting board. Set aside juices for gravy.
  • Cut off turkey legs at thigh joint. If joint is red or pink, return legs to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes (at 400°) or heat in a microwave oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Carve the rest of the turkey. Carving juices may be clear to pink or rosy, this is fine as long as the thermometer temp is where it should be.

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  1. Tasty turkey, even though I wasn't expecting the 14.23-lb. turkey to be ready in under 2 hours. I couldn't find any time reference points for roasting turkey at this temperature, so the turkey's internal temperature was past 200F when I checked on it. The turkey drumstick bones literally fell out during carving. Apparently this is the downside of cooking at high temperature: if you don't catch the target temperature just when reached, the dish can overcook substantially by the time you check. Miraculously, the meat was still moist -- both dark and white meat. Made for Please Review My Recipe tag game.



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