Juicy Turkey

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​How to cook a juicy turkey!

I wanted to share with people on how to cook a juicy Turkey! I think I cooked my first Thanksgiving turkey when I was 13, but it wasn’t juicy even though I followed directions! Over the last 20 years since I have had my own family, Turkey is served at least two to three times a year, so I have come up with many versions that have been yummy but in the last couple of years, I started doing 2 things that seem to make a huge difference with flavor and juiciness. 

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This recipe is more of a How to cook a juicy and flavorful Turkey! I usually stuff Turkeys but I really wanted you to see that an unstuffed Turkey can be just as juicy! I don’t make perfect looking turkeys, but they are delicious, moist and flavorful!

TIP: Try this recipe with Chicken!
How to make a juicy turkey

Oven Temperature:

325 Degrees Fahrenheit – 2 Hours
300 Degrees Fahrenheit – 1 Hour (I cover the turkey and drop temperature for the last hour)
13 Pound Turkey (time will vary either less or more depending on turkey size)

Turkey Cooking Times

8-12 LBS = 2-3 Hours
12-14 LBS = 3-3.5 Hours
14-18 LBS = 3.5-4.25 Hours
18-20 LBS = 4.25-4.5 Hours
20-24 LBS = 4.5-5 Hours 

Instructions: How to cook a turkey

1. The first thing to do is the least favorite part of all, cleaning out the carcass and rinsing the turkey inside and out! This is where you need to make sure all the giblets and neck are out of the Turkey (the giblets are the insides like liver, kidneys etc). Some people like to cook them up (YUCK) and put them in gravy (Double Yuck!) but everyone has their own tastes LOL! When the Turkey is all cleaned up then put it in a roaster pan, like this!
How to make a juicy turkey

2. After the turkey is all clean, the next step is how to turn this in to a juicy butterball creation! Lets start by cutting a 1/2 cup of butter in to chunks. Than you will do this next!How to make a juicy turkey

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3. Make sure you shove chunks of butter all underneath the turkey skin and sides, than pat the skin down and massage a little to break up the butter and make sure its even all over! Next you will drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil over the top of the turkey and really massage it and work the oil all over the turkey (your hands will be full of raw poultry juices, WASH hands with a disinfectant soap, as well as anything the turkey touched)! At this point you don’t need any seasonings but a favorite around here is Garlic seasoning sprinkled all over the turkey, YUM!
How to make a Juicy Turkey

4. Heat your oven up to 325 Degrees Fahrenheit. I gave the different cooking times for what size of turkey your cooking above. This is a 13 pound turkey, and doesn’t usually cook for more than 3 hours. I start out with cooking our turkey for 1 1/2 hours uncovered! Than this happens and is VERY important, BASTING the turkey for juiciness! If you don’t have a baster (like me!) use a ladle, works great!How to make a juicy turkey

5. I make sure that I have poured over several spoonfuls of the broth from the turkey, because that is how it stays moist! At this point, I put the lid on, than cook for 30 more minutes. The last hour of cooking, I turn the oven down to 300 Degrees Fahrenheit, cover the turkey and cook for an hour.
I baste 2 times in that hour because the turkey is almost done and we don’t want it to dry out! This also helps you determine whether it needs to cook more or less. (If you are unsure if your turkey is done, having a meat thermometer is extremely helpful for new cooks or anyone)!
How to make a juicy turkey

TIP:
Butter, Olive oil, basting the turkey and covering in the last hour or so has been what I discovered that works if you want a juicy turkey! Go ahead and stuff the turkey, the stuffing will be moist and flavorful!

There are always leftovers with a big turkey, so I will use the meat in place of other meats and create a meal! Here are a few of our favorites: Family Favorite Tacos and Easy Cheesy Taco Pasta

Dining in with Danielle for more recipes!

Photos and videos By my love Chris Redding

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14 thoughts on “Juicy Turkey”

  1. What are you covering the pan with? I have a dark enamel granite covered roaster and I heard they cook faster so wondered what you used and if you ever covered it the whole time?. Also how many minutes per pound do you add or subtract if the turkey is more or less than 13 lbs? Thank you

    1. Hi Mary,
      Yes we do cover the Turkey in the last Hour to Hour and a half of cooking with the lid to the Roaster Pan, as well as dropping the Oven Temp to 300, after cooking at 325 for most of the cooking time. The different cooking times for sizes of turkeys are listed right after the Turkey Picture. I listed it for you below for convenience! Thank you for your question, It’s the only way we make our Turkeys, so Juicy! If your Lid doesn’t fit over a bigger Turkey, we just set it on top and it seems to still work very well, or you can cover with Foil!
      8-12 LBS = 2-3 Hours
      12-14 LBS = 3-3.5 Hours
      14-18 LBS = 3.5-4.25 Hours
      18-20 LBS = 4.25-4.5 Hours
      20-24 LBS = 4.5-5 Hours

  2. I usually use an oven bag to cook my turkey. Didn’t have one this year, and I found this recipe. We think it’s the best turkey I’ve ever made 🙂

  3. What is the brand name of the garlic seasoning you used. Did you use any other spices? Also what’s the brand of the roasting pan?

  4. I have a 23lb bird that I want to stuff. I know I know I love stuffing the bird. Will your method work with the bird being stuffed?

    1. Absolutely! I do it every year and the Butter melts in to the Stuffing, so Delicious! Just make sure to adjust cooking time, it might take an extra hour or more to be completely done.

    1. Sorry for the late response, sure was a busy week! Probably doesn’t matter now but no we do not put broth in, the Butter and natural juices form there own broth while cooking. Also I never tie up a bird, Roasts just fine being free lol!

  5. Tamara Nikolajew

    Wow! What a fantastic recipe. I’m a Canadian living in Saudi Arabia. They used to sell Butterball turkeys but they stopped bringing it. So I picked up this 12lb Russian imported Turkey. To add to the fun, my oven was not heating properly the day I decide to make it. Convection setting worked. So I followed the recipe and stuffed the Turkey baked using convection setting. Came out absolutely perfect! Rave compliments from the family. Thank you.

    PS. Do you have any recipes for duck?? I’ve tried several recipes. Always comes out dry!

    1. Thank you! We make this 2 times a year and always comes out Juicy! I haven’t used Convection to cook a Turkey but it sounds like it Cooked just fine. As far as Duck, I have made it once and it was really greasy but I think this recipe might do just fine with any Poultry, We have used it with Whole Chicken and Chicken Leg Quarters Too!

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