How to Roast a Turkey

How to Roast a Turkey

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  • 1 turkey
  • 4 tablespoons oil or melted butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh or dried herbs and spices (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (optional)
  • 2 cups water


Heat oven to 350° F.

Remove turkey from the bag. After removing neck and giblets from the body cavity pat cavities lightly with a paper towel. Rub body and neck cavities with salt and pepper, if desired. Truss neck cavity with metal skewer and truss legs (see note).

Blend together oil or butter, fresh or dried herbs, spices or paprika. Spread the exterior of turkey with the mixture. Liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place turkey on a rack in an open roasting pan, breast side up. Pour 2 cups water in bottom of the pan.

Baste turkey with pan juices every 30 minutes. During the final 30 minutes, baste with melted butter. Cook until an internal temperature registers 160° F. To finish cooking to the final 165° F, remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

Special notes:

NYLON TRUSS: To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks. The nylon truss is oven and microwave safe and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 450° F.

Roasting time may vary as much as 30 minutes due to differences in individual equipment. There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. However, a piece of foil should be placed loosely over the turkey for approximately the last hour of roasting.

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