How to Make Perfect Turkey

Home » In the Kitchen » Entrées - Main Dishes » How to Make Perfect Turkey

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Posts may contain affiliate links.

Thanksgiving will be here in no time and something that people often struggle with is how to make the turkey. Here is how I make perfect turkey – every time.

Many of you know that Autumn is my favorite season. I love the change in the weather – the cooler temperatures, the smell of the turning leaves – and yes, they do have a beautiful perfume that floats in the crisp air. The flavors of pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon that become prevalent everywhere you look.

My favorite holiday in the whole year is Thanksgiving. I have incredibly fond memories from my childhood of sitting around the table with all of its leaves in it, playing board games, and listening to laughter and family stories as we digested our big supper and waited for “room for dessert” to appear. And the food? Oh my!

There is no guilt at all, and no qualms about eating all of the casseroles, juicy turkey, and rich desserts. Thanksgiving dinners don’t have calories, didn’t you know that?

One of the most challenging things about the Thanksgiving supper for many is how to make the turkey. Today, I am sharing how I make my roasted turkey.

It starts with a simple brine, is roasted at an unusually high temperature, but is the juiciest turkey you have ever had. And the best part is that it has turned out perfectly every single time I have made it this way.

Now I know that some people may be upset that the stuffing isn’t cooked inside the turkey, but just call it dressing and bake it in a dish. Seriously – when you see how much faster the turkey bakes, you’ll see how worth it it is!

Before you are ready to roast your turkey, you’ll want to BRINE it the day before.

Now you can begin prepping it to roast.

Lower your oven racks to position the turkey in the middle of the oven. Preheat your oven to 500°(F).

Yes, you read that right. Trust me.

Also – make sure you start with a clean oven. If you turn it to 500 degrees and your oven wasn’t clean, you’ll have a smelly kitchen!

When you are ready to bake your bird, carefully pull it out of the bucket of brine and rinse it under cold water in the sink (inside and out). Set it in the sink over a rack to allow any excess liquid to drain out. Pat it dry with paper towels and then place it in your roasting pan.

In the cavity of the turkey, place 2 apples (cut into wedges), an onion (peeled & cut into wedges), 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.

Slice a stick (1/2 c) of cold, unsalted butter into about 8 or 10 slices. Slide your hands under the skin over the turkey breasts and make a space in there – but be sure not to puncture the skin. Place half of the butter on each side, spread out over the turkey breasts.

Grab some kitchen twine and tie a piece around the turkey, pinning the wings against the sides. This keeps the wings from overcooking and the tips from burning. Rub 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil all over the outside of the turkey.

Place your turkey in the oven. I highly recommend using an in-oven baking thermometer that you can monitor from outside the oven (Like this one or this one). The probe should be placed in the thickest part of the turkey breast.

Bake the oven at the high temperature for 30 minutes.

After about 15 – 20 minutes, begin keeping any eye on the turkey. When the turkey is getting near the color you would like it to be, carefully pull the roasting pan out of the oven.

Cover the turkey with a tent of foil and then return it to the oven and continue the baking time.

After the 30 minutes of baking at the high temperature, reduce the heat to 350°(F).

A 15-16 pound turkey will be done in about 2 1/2 hours.

Your roasting time will be based upon the size of your turkey. Trust your thermometer.

When your turkey reaches 165°(F) on the thermometer, remove it from the oven. It is done!

Now just let it rest – still covered with the foil – for 15-20 minutes.

How to make Perfect Brined & Roasted Turkey from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Enjoy the juiciest, best turkey you’ve ever had. The meat is juicy, the skin is crispy, and it is done way quicker than a stuffed bird and baked at 325°.

Once you make it this way, I doubt you’ll ever want to go back to the “old” way again.

Learn how to make the perfect turkey, that is juicy on the inside while brown and crispy on the outside. Perfect, every time.
Learn how to make the perfect turkey, that is juicy on the inside while brown and crispy on the outside. Perfect, every time.

How to Make Perfect Roasted Turkey

Constance Smith – Cosmopolitan Cornbread
This is how I make perfect turkey – every time. Don't forget to FIRST BRINE THE TURKEY! (See the link in the post on how to do that.)
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 1 day 1 hour
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 1 day 4 hours
Course Entrées – Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 1 turkey

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole turkey, giblets and such removed
  • 1 stick, 1/2 c cold unsalted butter
  • 2 apples, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, peeled & cut into wedges
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • To begin, lower your oven racks to position the turkey in the middle of the oven. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  • When you are ready to bake your bird, carefully pull it out of the bucket and rinse it under cold water in the sink (inside and out). Set it in the sink over a rack to allow any excess liquid to drain out. Pat it dry with paper towels and then place it in your roasting pan.
  • In the cavity of the turkey, place the apples, onion, fresh rosemary, and thyme.
  • Slice the stick of cold, unsalted butter into about 8 or 10 slices. Slide your hands under the skin over the turkey breasts and make a space in there – but be sure not to puncture the skin. Place half of the butter on each side, spread out over the turkey breasts.
  • Grab some kitchen twine and tie a piece around the turkey, pinning the wings against the sides. This keeps the wings from overcooking and the tips from burning. Rub the extra virgin olive oil all over the outside of the turkey.
  • Place your turkey in the oven. I highly recommend using an in-oven baking thermometer that you can monitor from outside the oven. The probe should be placed in the thickest part of the turkey breast.
  • Bake the turkey at the high temperature for 30 minutes. After about 15 – 20 minutes, begin keeping any eye on the turkey. When it is getting near the color you would like it to be, carefully pull the roasting pan out of the oven. Cover the turkey with a tent of foil, then return it to the oven and continue the baking time.
  • After the 30 minutes of baking at the high temperature, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. A 15-16 pound turkey will be done in about 2 1/2 hours. Your roasting time will be based upon the size of your turkey. Trust your thermometer.
  • When your turkey reaches 165 degrees on the thermometer, remove it from the oven. It is done! Now just let it rest – still covered with the foil – for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then carve and enjoy your perfect turkey.
  • Happy Thanksgiving!

Nutritional information is auto-generated and the accuracy is not guaranteed.

Did You Try This?I’d Love For You to Share it on Instagram and tag me! @CosmopolitanCornbread

4 thoughts on “How to Make Perfect Turkey”

  1. I’m 67 and finally made the best Turkey food ever!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. Also I used your brine recipe first. So the combination is fabulous!!

    Reply
  2. This was delicious! Made 2 turkeys – 1 with the brine and 1 using the method I’ve used for years. They were both delicious but the brined really flavored the turkey deeper. It was clearly the winner. Thanks!

    Reply
5 from 9 votes (8 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.