How to Roast the Perfect Turkey

If you've never roasted a turkey before, don't be intimidated to give it a try. It is a simple process if you follow these easy steps. I hope you enjoy!

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Get your turkey out. Make sure you pay attention to thawing instructions on your package. It takes a couple of days and you never want a frozen turkey on thanksgiving!

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Chop up some aromatic vegetables. I use carrots, onions, and celery. There's no exact measurement on this, adjust for how many people are eating. I had quite a few, so I did plenty of veggies.

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Let your turkey come to room temperature and then pat it dry. Some turkeys come with giblets and the turkey neck. I'm not working with those in this SnapGuide, so I've discarded them.

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Run your hand under the skin to break up the membrane that holds the skin to the meat. This is a critical step for a dry herb rub. Be careful not to tear the skin by keeping your hand flat.

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Using your melted butter and a basting brush, coat the entire exterior of your turkey. Get into every single crack and crevice!

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Mix up your herb rub. Mine is a blend of thyme, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder. Experiment for your taste (or buy a blend at the store). Notice the olive oil? Well...

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You'll want to pour enough olive oil into your herb blend to make a paste.

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Add your broth or water (about 2 inches deep) into the bottom of your roasting pan, add the veggies, and if you have any herb rub leftover, you can disperse it into the liquid.

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Using your hands, rub your herb paste all over the turkey. Get into every crack & crevice, under the skin, and even into the chest cavity of your turkey. Trust me, this step pays dividends later!


Here's a helpful tip: When you are placing your turkey in the roasting pan, cut small holes in the skin behind the legs and stick the tips of the wings in. This helps keep everything nice and tight.

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Grab some heavy duty aluminum foil. We are going to make a foil tent over the bird to help keep some moisture in.

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It's not an exact science, just make sure your tent gives some headroom to the turkey and you should be fine. I like to roll the open edges down just a little, creating a vapor space above the bird


Consult a turkey roasting guide to see how long your bird should cook. Subtract 45 minutes from that amount of time and cook your turkey for that long at 325 F.

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So for instance: my turkey was 14 lbs, requiring 3.5 hrs of cook time. Subtract 45 minutes and you're left with 2 3/4 hrs of initial cook time. We'll be removing the tent later and cooking a bit more.

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After cooking for the first period of time, discard your foil tent. Then, I baste my turkey one time with the juices from underneath. Be careful not to wash the herb rub off the top of your turkey.

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Cook for another 45-60 minutes, uncovered.

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And viola! Your turkey is done when it temps to at least 165 F in the thickest part of the breast meat. Let your bird rest for at least 20 minutes or you'll lose a lot of the juices.

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Now the only thing left to do is to carve that sucker up...

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And enjoy it with your friends or family. Everyone that had this turkey said that it was very juicy and tender; just how you want it!

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