Kitchen Basics 101: How to Roast a Turkey, Plus Free Printable


For the past few weeks we have been focusing our Kitchen Basics 101 posts on getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Today we will discuss….

How to Roast a Turkey

 How to Roast a Turkey!

The Night Before:

1.  Remove the turkey from the packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the cavity.  You can use these to make turkey stock if desired.
2.  Rinse the turkey under cold water; making sure you rinse the cavity with water as well.  Pat dry with paper towels.  
3.  Place the turkey on a tray and cover with paper towels and aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.  
1.  Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and uncover.  
2.  Place the turkey in the roasting pan.
3.  If you are roasting the turkey with stuffing, add your prepared stuffing now to the cavity of the turkey.   If you are not stuffing the turkey, make sure you salt and pepper the cavity.  
4.  Using kitchen twine, truss the legs of the turkey together…
(Photo Credit:  Cooking Light)
5.  Cover the turkey with softened butter, the more the better.  This is Thanksgiving and calories don’t count.  Now sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper.  I like to also use poultry seasoning.  You can use whatever spices you prefer.  
6.  Roast the turkey at 400 degrees for the first 20 minutes.  Then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh reads 170 degrees.  
7.  If you notice that the turkey is getting too brown while it is cooking, cover loosely with aluminum foil.  
8.  Don’t forget to baste your turkey!  I like to baste every 20 minutes or so using chicken stock, or homemade turkey stock.  I also like to baste the turkey a few times with melted butter.  
9.  Once the turkey is finished cooking, remove it from the oven.   Take the turkey out of the roasting pan and place on a cutting board.  Cover the turkey with aluminum foil.  Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving.
10.  While the turkey is resting prepare the gravy.  You can find step by step instructions for making  perfect lump free gravy in last week’s Kitchen Basics 101 post HERE.
We also made you this cute {Printable} Turkey Cooking Guide!
Click here for the printable PDF File: Turkey Cooking Guide
Be on the look out for a Banner, Menu, Place Cards, and other printable items that match this printable!
Next week we will tackle How to Carve the Turkey!  


  1. says

    Just featured you on my FB page (and pinned, and tweeted)! This is the recipe I’ve been looking for, where you roast at a higher temp first then turn it down. I love how my roast chicken turns out when I do it that way, so I’m glad now to find a turkey version! Thank you for linking up your tip at Project Inspire{d}!

  2. says

    Such great information Robyn.. I have a few turkeys but I can never remember how long to keep them in the over. You are today’s Dare to Share Feature of the Day!


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