Want to cook a turkey this holiday season, but you’re not sure where to start? Make this Easy Roasted Turkey recipe, and it will turn out perfect every time!
Cooking a whole turkey has always seriously intimidated me. My mama’s always turns out so juicy and delicious! Cooking a piece of meat this large seemed scary to me. Once I made it, I felt silly for being intimidated for so long! It’s SO easy!
Before we get any further, there are a few staple Thanksgiving recipes you need to add to your menu this year too. Go HERE and you can see my easy recipes for mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey gravy, desserts like my pumpkin roll and more! All just for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
The first step is to thaw your frozen turkey. This takes a lot longer than you think, so give yourself 2-3 days for it to thaw in the fridge (depending on size) otherwise you will panic when your turkey is still frozen.
Once it’s thawed, you will need to remove the giblets (which should be in a bag INSIDE the turkey), and then remove the neck (which is typically INSIDE the other side of the turkey). This is gross, but just do it. It must be done. The holidays are counting on it. Rinse the turkey under running water thoroughly, and then pat it dry.
Next, place your turkey in a roasting pan. I use a big roaster, so I don’t have to fill up my oven for hours. If you don’t have an electric roaster, you can just use your oven. Preheat your oven or roaster to 325. Place your turkey in the roasting pan, and butter the inside and outside liberally. Then salt it on the inside and outside. This will take a few minutes, and your hands will get dirty, but it’s worth it. Trust me.
The turkey will need to cook for 8 minutes for every pound of turkey. The last 30-45 minutes of cooking will be done uncovered. Cook it covered first, either with the lid on your roaster, or cover with tin foil in the oven. If you cover it with tin foil in the oven, don’t let the foil touch your turkey, or it will stick to the skin and ruin it. Make a dome from the tin foil so the turkey is covered without being touched. Just pretend the turkey is an anti-social cousin that doesn’t want to be hugged.
After you’ve cooked your turkey for the covered time (so my turkey was 14 pounds and needed to cook for about 2 hours total. I cooked it for the first hour and a half covered, and the last 30-45 minutes uncovered), you need to uncover it to get that nice, crispy golden brown skin. Otherwise it’s a weird tan color, like the turkey in the picture. I just stuck my roaster pan in the oven and continued to cook it at 325 for 30-45 minutes and it was perfect!
Voila! You now have a fully cooked, delicious, and golden brown turkey ready for your holiday feast! Don’t waste the juice that turkey left behind while it cooked, make some delicious gravy in five minutes by using THIS recipe!