It’s the week before you’re hosting Thanksgiving and you suddenly realize – this will be your first time cooking a turkey! Not to worry; the experts at D&T Appliance Service Company have got you covered with an easy and foolproof method for how to cook a turkey.
How to Cook a Turkey in 12 Easy Steps
Preparing a turkey can be overwhelming for even the most experienced chef. That’s why we’ve found a turkey recipe for beginners so you can easily learn how to cook the perfect turkey.
Pro Tip: Ovens tend to cook more evenly if they’re clean. However, you should be aware of self-cleaning oven dangers before using this feature so close to the holidays. Cleaning your oven by hand could save you from an oven breakdown disaster!
Step #1: Place Veggies in Baking Dish
The first step in how to cook a turkey is all about its resting place. Roughly chop 1 carrot, 1 onion, and 1 celery stalk. Place them in the bottom of a large baking dish.
Step #2: Place Turkey in Baking Dish
Next, place the turkey on top of the veggies and pat it dry with paper towels. Removing moisture from the turkey’s surface ensures a crisp, golden skin during roasting.
Step #3: Remove Turkey Innards
A crucial step in how to cook a turkey is remembering to remove the innards before roasting. Innards include the turkey’s, tail, neck, and a small bag with gizzards and other organs. Don’t throw these away though! They can provide gravy with a rich turkey flavor.
Step #4: Season the Turkey’s Cavity
Mix together about half a cup of equal amounts of salt and pepper and sprinkle generously into the turkey’s cavity. This brings out flavor during roasting.
Step #5: Fold in the Turkey’s Wings
Turkey wings are small and, if left sticking out, will finish cooking before the rest of the turkey is done. Tuck both wings under the turkey to prevent overcooking.
Step #6: Melt Butter
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Melt until butter just begins to turn brown around the edges.
Step #7: Add Fresh Herbs
Herbs like sage and rosemary are helpful knowing in how to cook a turkey because they provide great flavor. Add a handful of both herbs to the melted butter and stir gently for 1 minute.
Step #8: Place Herbs in Turkey Cavity
Place the herbs in the turkey’s cavity. Their aroma will permeate the turkey while it roasts.
Step #9: Tie the Turkey’s Legs Together
Like the turkey wings, if the legs aren’t tied together they’ll cook faster and dry out before the breast is done roasting. A simple knot or bow will suffice.
Step #10: Baste the Turkey with the Melted Butter
Dip a basting brush in the melted herb butter and paint the turkey. Make sure to get every corner to create that beautiful golden color when cooked!
Step #11: Season the Turkey’s Outside
Using the same salt and pepper mixture, season the entire surface of the turkey, turning it as needed to ensure even coverage.
Step #12: Roast the Turkey
The last step in how to cook a turkey is simple: place it, uncovered, in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven and don’t do a thing! How long does it take to cook a turkey? About 15 minutes per pound. However, make sure to use a thermometer to ensure the turkey is fully-cooked. The thigh should register no more than 175 degrees for a juicy and delicious turkey.