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Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey


Thanksgiving is a time when families gather around the table to share a delicious meal and give thanks for all the blessings in their lives. And what better centerpiece for this festive occasion than a perfectly roasted Thanksgiving turkey? In this article, we will explore the art of roasting a turkey to juicy, golden perfection. So grab your apron and let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Turkey

When it comes to roasting a turkey, the first step is to choose the right bird. Size matters! You want to ensure you have enough turkey to feed all your guests, so calculate about 1 pound per person. Additionally, consider whether you want a fresh or frozen turkey. Fresh turkeys tend to have a better flavor, but frozen turkeys are more readily available and can be purchased in advance.

Preparing the Turkey

Before roasting, it’s important to prepare the turkey properly. Start by removing the neck and giblets from the cavity. Next, rinse the turkey under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Now, let’s move on to the fun part – seasoning the turkey!

Seasoning the Turkey

Seasoning is the key to a flavorful roasted turkey. You can keep it simple with salt, pepper, and some herbs, or get creative with a variety of spices and marinades. Just make sure to rub the seasoning both inside and outside of the turkey, ensuring it reaches all the nooks and crannies.

Roasting the Turkey

Now that your turkey is seasoned to perfection, it’s time to roast it. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature and place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover the turkey with foil and roast it for the calculated cooking time, basting it occasionally with pan drippings. Remove the foil during the last hour of cooking to allow the skin to crisp up and turn a beautiful golden brown.

Testing for Doneness

Don’t rely solely on the cooking time to determine if your turkey is done. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh. This will guarantee a juicy and safe-to-eat turkey. Remember to let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute.

Carving and Serving

Carving a turkey can seem like a daunting task, but with a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. Start by removing the legs and wings, then slice the breast meat against the grain. Arrange the slices on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs for an elegant presentation. Serve your roasted turkey with all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings, and watch your guests’ faces light up with delight!


Roasting a Thanksgiving turkey is a labor of love that brings families together and creates cherished memories. With the right turkey, proper preparation, and a little patience, you can achieve a succulent and flavorful centerpiece for your holiday feast. So this Thanksgiving, gather your loved ones, give thanks, and savor every bite of your perfectly roasted turkey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long should I roast a turkey?

A: The cooking time depends on the size of your turkey. As a general rule, calculate 13 minutes per pound. However, always use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.

Q: Can I stuff the turkey?

A: While stuffing the turkey can add flavor, it can also increase the cooking time and pose a food safety risk. If you choose to stuff the turkey, make sure the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) as well.

Q: How do I keep the turkey from drying out?

A: To prevent the turkey from drying out, baste it occasionally with pan drippings during the roasting process. You can also cover the breast with foil to protect it from overcooking.

Q: Can I use a different seasoning for the turkey?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different seasonings, marinades, and rubs to suit your taste preferences. Just make sure to thoroughly coat the turkey for maximum flavor.

Q: What should I do with the leftover turkey?

A: Leftover turkey can be used in a variety of delicious dishes, such as sandwiches, soups, casseroles, and salads. Get creative and enjoy the leftovers in new and exciting ways!

Q: Can I roast a turkey on a grill?

A: Yes, you can roast a turkey on a grill using indirect heat. Just make sure to monitor the temperature and adjust the cooking time accordingly. It’s a great way to infuse the turkey with smoky flavors!

Q: Should I brine the turkey?

A: Brining the turkey can help keep it moist and enhance its flavor. If you have the time, consider brining the turkey overnight before roasting. Just be sure to rinse off the brine and pat the turkey dry before seasoning.

Q: Can I roast a turkey without a roasting pan?

A: If you don’t have a roasting pan, you can use a large baking dish or even a disposable aluminum pan. Just make sure it’s sturdy enough to hold the weight of the turkey and has enough space for airflow.

Q: How do I prevent the turkey skin from getting too dark?

A: To prevent the skin from getting too dark, you can cover the turkey with foil during the roasting process. Remove the foil during the last hour to allow the skin to turn golden brown.

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Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

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Prep Time 21 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 21 hours 45 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 whole fresh turkey or non-injected frozen turkey (approximately 20 pounds)
  • Turkey Brine (see recipe below)
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons julienned orange peel
  • 2 gallons cold water
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons tricolor peppercorns
  • 5 whole bay leaves
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • Peel of 3 large oranges , cut into large strips
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary , leaves removed
  • Note: The turkey brine recipe will be provided separately.


  • Take the turkey out of its packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. Rinse the neck and giblets and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for later use.
  • Thoroughly rinse the turkey with cold water.
  • Place the turkey in a large brining bag or pot. Pour in My Favorite Turkey Brine and refrigerate for 16 to 18 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it inside and out. Soak the turkey in cold water for 15 minutes, then rinse again and dry with a paper towel.
  • Truss the turkey or arrange the legs and wings as desired. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the pan with heavy-duty foil to seal it.
  • Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes per pound. For example, a 20-pound turkey would take around 3 1/2 hours, while a 15-pound turkey would take about 2 1/2 hours.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together butter, rosemary, and orange zest. Remove the foil from the turkey and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey's skin, including the crevices. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thigh near the hip joint
Keyword Holiday, main-dish, Poultry, Roast Recipes, Roasted Turkey, Roasting, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Turkey, Turkey Recipes
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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