How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is approaching and for most people, that means they need to know how to roast a Thanksgiving turkey! There are several reasons why turkey is served as the main dish during this holiday. It is a beloved tradition, which means that the turkey must be perfectly cooked. Follow these instructions to roast the perfect turkey every time!

Roasted Turkey Recipe

Adapted from The Kitchn


1 turkey, any size

2 cups chicken broth, turkey broth, or water

1 cup melted butter (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste


Roasting rack

Roasting pan

Turkey baster

Meat thermometer


thaw the turkey

If your turkey is frozen, you’ll need to thaw it out well in advance. The general rule is to place the turkey breast side up in the refrigerator. You’ll need one day for every 5 pounds of turkey. If you need to finish thawing it on Thanksgiving morning, place the turkey breast side down in cold water. Leave the wrapper on. Replace the water every thirty minutes until the turkey is completely thawed.

prepare the turkey to roast

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you need to start roasting it. Unwrap the turkey from the packaging. Remove the giblets (check in the inner cavity of the turkey) and set them aside. If the legs were clamped together with a piece of plastic, be sure to remove it. Place the turkey breast-side up on the roasting rack and set aside.

roast the turkey

Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub the turkey with salt and pepper. Add the roasting rack (with the turkey on it) to the roasting pan. After the oven is done preheating, lower the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and add the broth or water to the roasting pan.

Place the turkey in the oven at the center of the oven rack. Baste it with broth or melted butter every 30 minutes. The turkey will need to cook for about 13 minutes for every pound of meat. So a 25-pound turkey will take around 5 hours and 30 minutes to cook. Measure it with a meat thermometer when it’s nearing the time estimate. Follow the package instructions to use the thermometer properly. Insert it into the thigh; the turkey is done when the thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the turkey from the oven. Let it stand for about 15 minutes before removing it from the pan and to the carving board. Let it stand on the carving board for another 10 minutes before carving. At this point, you can use the pan juices to make gravy.

Carve the turkey

Carving a turkey is a science, and learning how to do it properly will really help make your Thanksgiving meal extra special. If you don’t know how to do it, enlist the help of someone who does. You wouldn’t want to ruin your turkey by carving it incorrectly!

So now you know how to roast a Thanksgiving turkey!


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