Your Thanksgiving Turkey Game Plan: Cook

How to Cook Thanksgiving Turkey

This is part two of a three-part series, Your Thanksgiving Turkey Game Plan. Check out part one (Prep) here and part three (Serve) here.

From thawing to brining and roasting to carving, here's your Thanksgiving turkey cheat sheet to help you plan a fret-free holiday feast.

Tools of the trade:

  • Instant-read or meat thermometer
  • Long handle spoon or basting bulb

Roast Your Turkey

How long to cook Thanksgiving turkey

Preheat the oven to 325F. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, which is just above the crease where the thigh meets the breast. When the thermometer registers 165F, the turkey is ready. 

Tip: Make sure the thermometer does not touch any bones and always take the temperature in the same spot.

While the turkey is roasting, spoon juices or use a basting bulb to baste the turkey with drippings from the pan every hour or so. 

When the thermometer reaches 165F, remove from the oven and let rest, tented in foil for 30 to 40 minutes. If the turkey is finished earlier than expected, wrap the turkey and roasting pan in foil, and place a large towel over the roasting pan. This will keep the turkey warm, while also keeping the meat from drying out. Plus, it doesn't use any oven space!

Read part one (Prep) here and three (Serve) here.

11/10/2019 10:52 PM
We cook two 13 pound turkeys in 2:45 max. Using a roasting bag and not stuffing the turkey saves a lot of cooking time. The down side is you don’t get that look of a perfect turkey when it comes out because the skin is not crispy.

We add salt and butter to the bird the night before. Then put carrots onions and celery in the bag. We don’t serve those vegetables they are just for flavor. The liquid left in the bag after you take out the turkey is perfect base for gravy. A little cornstarch to thicken  no other flavoring needed.

Tinfoils and 3 towels and it stays above 150 degrees for 3 hrs.