A kitchen guide on how to cook a turkey in the 3 best ways.
This winter season, learn how to make a beautiful roast turkey and leave behind the hassle of bringing it in from your favorite restaurant.
We have the best answer to how to cook a turkey for you.
They are roasted in the oven with garlic herb butter for the most tender, juicy meat and golden-brown skin.
So, learn how to cook a turkey the perfect way—starting with the classic.
A luscious roast turkey is an all-time favorite for holiday feasts, and how to cook a turkey is one of the most googled questions. Most people prefer bringing their turkeys for several hours, if not days, or roasting them in pans. We usually don’t do any of that, preferring to roast it belly down from the start to maintain those vital liquids flowing through the meat.
You may also build a roasting rack by halving garlic heads horizontally, allowing some of the rich pan juices to sear straight into the breast, from the outside and keep it moist.
1. How to Cook a Turkey
Now, to begin with, if you’re dealing with a frozen turkey, thaw it fully in the fridge with a plastic packing or bag still attached. Please set them in a large, deep roasting pan to prevent leaks from leaking through your refrigerator shelves as it defrosts. Allow at least 24 hours for every 3 to 4 pounds of weight or 1.5 to 2 kg. Depending on the size of your turkey, it will take 2 to 3 days to defrost properly.
Defrosting the turkey in cold water is faster than defrosting it in hot water, 30 minutes per pound or 500g. To keep your turkey cold, place it in a leak-proof plastic bag and replace the water regularly.
Removing the cold from a turkey might take a minimum of three hours, depending on the size of the turkey. To achieve consistent roasting, allow it to reach close to room temperature before you start cooking.
So, let’s now learn how to cook a turkey in 4 simple steps
Use a saucepan that does not have a roasting rack or a casserole dish, the garlic head halves. Parchment paper towels or foil line the pan to keep the skin from adhering.
Stuff the entire cavity of the turkey with half garlic heads and lemon slices (optional), and herb sprigs to flavor it thoroughly from inside while it bakes. Tie the legs and wings together and tuck them under the back to keep them from spreading out.
Wrap the wingtips in foil while roasting time during the beginning if your oven’s heating element is near the top in case you have a tiny oven or you want to keep the turkey recipe from spreading.
1.1. Roasting Turkey
Before roasting, slather the turkey with butter and below the skin to help preserve all of the juices. Melted butter is preferable for evenly spreading all of those tastes throughout the bird. With garlic herb butter, slather the turkey while it’s cooking. This results in gorgeous golden skin.
Place the turkey, breast side down, on top of the garlic, lemon, and herbs. The aromatics will continue to cook through the meat, both on the inside and on the outside.
A thermometer is essential for determining when your turkey is thoroughly done. Allow yourself plenty of time. If you try to cook the dish fast during roasting, the meat will cook unevenly.
Stuffing frequently lengthens the turkey’s cooking time, which may cause the meat to dry out. If you want to stuff it, make it separately rather than cramming it into the turkey to prevent liquids from seeping into the stuffing instead of the meat.
You may also pour the leftover pan juices over the filling to incorporate those flavors.
1.2. How to Cook a Turkey in Different Temperatures?
At 390°F (200°C) for fan-forced ovens or 425°F for standard ovens, uncovered roast your turkey, and breast facet down. A turkey consideration of quite fifteen pounds needs forty-five minutes to cook. Season with salt and pepper, then smear with half the butter.
Turn the turkey over, breast-side up and baste with pan juices using pair of tongs, a clean towel, or kitchen oven mitts, and heat-resistant gloves.
Reduce the temperature to 325°F | 150°C. Cook for another hour, uncovered. Smear the turkey with the left butter and bake for thirty minutes. If you use a large turkey, cook it for an additional half-hour to an hour. Continue roasting the turkey for another thirty minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
Between the leg and the breast part of the turkey insert a thermometer. The temperature should be 165°F. The USDA recommends an internal cooking temperature of 165°F for turkey.
Broil within the last five to ten minutes of change of state time for extra tender skin, keeping a watch on that so that it does not burn.
1.3. How to Cook a Turkey Within the Right Amount of Time?
The time for cooking the turkey perfectly differs according to a few factors:
- Size of a turkey in general: it should be cooked for fifteen minutes per pound.
- Before roasting, set it at the following temperature: It will take longer to roast it if it is cold, is not anywhere near room temperature when it is supposed to be placed into the oven. It may take less time in case the turkey is at room temperature.
- It’s your oven.
1.4. Time to Roast:
10 kilograms: 4 hours 15-20 minutes; 9 kilograms: 3 hours 45-55 minutes 20 pounds; 8 kilograms: 3 hours 15-20 minutes 18 pounds; 7 kilograms: 3 hours 16 pounds; 6 kilograms: 2 hours 35 to 45 minutes; 5 kilograms: 2 hours 15 minutes; 12 pounds
Check the oven’s temperature beforehand to avoid overcooking or undercooking. Insert the thermometer between the leg and the breast part of the chicken. The temperature should be 165°F (the turkey’s temperature should be 160°F (70°C).
Please keep in mind that this time is just an estimated time and not fixed. Your time for cooking can be different depending upon your cooking techniques.
If you don’t own a thermometer for meat, pierce the breast part of the turkey with a sharp knife to check the temperature. The fluids from the turkey should not be pink but clear.
Transfer it to a serving plate or cutting board when it is done. Allow it to rest for fifteen to thirty minutes, based on the scale of the turkey; the more significant the turkey is, the much longer it will need to rest.
1.5. How to Make a Turkey Gravy
A lovely old-fashioned turkey gravy with your Thanksgiving meal is unbeatable. You may make it fresh ahead of putting everything for the guests, or you can make it ahead of time and heat it when supper is ready.
Discard the pan drippings. Using a metal spatula, scrape any lumps of black flesh attached down beneath the pan. Melt the butter in any tiny pot. Stir in the flour to produce a roux. You can add more chicken stock if you do not think you hold enough.
We like to make the gravy right before we dine, but you may cook it beforehand. Reheat it before starting dinner and add in a bit of extra chicken stock if required. Season with salt and pepper to taste (only if needed). Season with Worcestershire sauce, herbs, or other seasonings to taste.
2. How to Cook a Turkey the Juicy Herb Turkey and Potatoes with Gravy Way
One Pan Juicy Herb Roasted Turkey & Potatoes, a Thanksgiving favorite, is packed with the most delectable tastes.
A sumptuous, juicy turkey breast is pan-cooked with sweet potatoes in delicious pan juices for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. And we have the secret to the ultimate soft, supple, and juicy turkey breast. It’s time to learn how to cook a turkey, just a simple, stress-free method for making the best turkey breast coated in herbs, garlic, paprika, and olive oil. There will be no marinating. There are no refrigeration laws.
2.1. How to Cook a Turkey with A Moist Turkey Breast?
The secret is to stab it with a fork all around, through the skin and flesh. Then, combine all of your seasoning ingredients; rub the flavors all over your turkey, including under the skin; roll it over and roast skin side down first, covered with foil to keep all of the steam in the pan — while also saving those wonderful pan juices for later gravy making, giving you the perfectly cooked turkey.
You don’t have to wonder how to cook a turkey with these magical yet straightforward ingredients.
2.2. Turkey’s Ingredients Are:
- 1 entire, skinned, bone-in turkey breast (3 kg | 6 lbs)
- four tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp freshly chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika (mild)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 12 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5-6 medium sweet potatoes
- 5 to 6 potatoes
- 3/4 cup – 1 cup pan juice
2.3. For the Gravy
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth
- 1 tablespoon corn starch + 2 teaspoons water
- only if desired, add extra salt to season.
2.4. How to Cook a Turkey with Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius | 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, in a shallow roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Prick the skin and meat all over the breast with a fork. Put down.
- Combine 4 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, parsley, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. SHARPLY rub HALF of the mixture all over the skin of the turkey breast. Loosen the skin and work the spice into the flesh and below the skin. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on the parchment paper beneath the turkey breast. Turn the breast skin side up.
- Arrange the sweet potatoes and potatoes around it and season with the remaining spice. If desired, season with more salt.
- Wrap the pan completely in aluminum foil. Oven time: 2 hours
Remove the turkey from the oven, carefully uncover it, and place it in the pan skin-side up. Change the cooking temperature to grill or broil and roast the turkey for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the turkey is cooked through.
- When it’s done, please remove it from the oven, cover it with foil, and leave it aside for 15 minutes to cool. While the meat is still warm, slice it and serve it with the gravy.
- Pour all the pan juice into a medium-sized saucepan and heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer over low heat after adding the broth.
- Pour in the corn starch mixture and whisk continually until a rich, thick gravy forms.
2.5. How to Cook a Turkey with Barbecue Spice
2.5.1. Brined Grilled Turkey
Combine paprika, savory, cumin, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, and 14 cups of brown sugar in a small bowl. In a medium mixing dish, combine 3 tablespoons spice combination, salt, and the remaining 3 tablespoons brown sugar.
Cover the turkey in a dry brine, piling it on until completely covered. Chill the turkey for 8–12 hours, uncovered, on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside any remaining mixture for the next day.
Remove the brine by carefully rinsing and patting dry. After rubbing with the reserved spice mixture, set it aside for 2 hours to come to room temperature.
Prep the grill for medium-high, indirect heat (bank coals on one side of the grill for a charcoal grill; turn off one or two burners for a gas grill) and oil the grates gently.
If you’re using wood chips, spread them over the embers of a charcoal grill; if you’re using a gas grill, place them in a disposable foil pan and place them over a hot burner.
Place the turkey over indirect heat, skin side up, with the breast halves facing each other and the legs closest to the direct heat. Cover the indirect heat zone and set an oven thermometer in the center.
Grill for 20 minutes, then flip half of the way to the neck end that is closest to the heat. Check the grill temperature; it should read 325° on a thermometer (open or close vents as needed).
Continue to grill the turkey for at least 1 hour, check for doneness every twenty minutes, and an associate instant-read measuring thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the breast registers 150°.
If desired, carefully lay the turkey over direct heat and flip it side down for 2 minutes, or until the skin is lightly browned. Place on a serving plate and leave for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
3. Turkey Legs in Gravy with Cipollini Onions
Here are the steps you must follow to learn how to cook a turkey leg in gravy with cipollini onions.
- Step one is to season your turkey with salt and pepper to taste. Allow 1 hour to come to room temperature on a baking sheet with a wide rim.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Cook for 5–8 minutes, or until very beautifully browned, with the outer side down, do not cook on the interior side. Place 1 cup of flour on a plate and dredge the turkey in it, only coating the skin, do not shake off extra.
- Serve on a plate. Season with salt, then add the yellow onion & leek, celery, garlic, and peppercorns to the pan and cook, stirring oft and scraping up brown elements from the rock bottom of the pot, till the vegetables are square softened and getting down to brown all around the edges, about twenty minutes.
- Bring the wine to a boil, stirring constantly, and continue to cook until the pan is almost dry—season with salt and continue to cook with the thyme, bay leaves, and 3 cups of stock. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring, after adding the remaining 2 tbsp flour. Return the turkey to the pot, browned side up, and fill with enough stock to almost wholly cover without burying the browned skin (this will keep it from getting soggy). 35–45 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone of the thigh reads 165°. Place the turkey on a platter to serve.
- Cook for 20–25 minutes, or until the cipollini onions and remaining stock is tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to the platter. Simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until the braising liquid has reduced to about 3 cups.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the yolk and cream; whisk in 1 tablespoon of the braising liquid to warm. Continue whisking as you add the yolk mixture to the braising liquid, taking care not to let the gravy boil. Place the gravy in a large mixing bowl. Remove the pot—return any gravy to the saucepan; season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the cipollini onions to the saucepan, brown side up, and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.
- Serve garnished with parsley.
- Do Ahead: Season the legs the day before. Allow cooling uncovered, and allow it to come to room temperature.
And now that we know how to cook a turkey perfectly try these fantastic and easy recipes to cook a turkey this Thanksgiving.