How to Cook a Turkey

How to Cook a Turkey


I was scared to cook a turkey. I mean it looks hard. I always remembered people looking like they have run a race after cooking this beast. I decided I would figure it out. I hope my post how you cook a turkey will help even the newest cook make a fantastic turkey.



Chicken Brooth

1 stick of Butter

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil

Herbs (You can use rosemary) I cheat and use Herbes De Provence it sounds fancy and tastes great

roasting pan


This is how you cook a turkey.

1) If your turkey is frozen you will need to thaw it in the refrigerator DAYS before Thanksgiving. If you have screwed up and didn’t do this you can put it in cold water. You will need to keep changing the water until it is thawed. I hope you didn’t have plans this will take awhile.

2) Then you will need to actually wash the turkey. You just use water. Do NOT use soap.

3) Then you will pat the turkey dry with paper towels. I can imagine my husband grabbing a dish towel so I am being specific.

how to cook turkey

4) You will take out everything that is in the turkey. It most likely has stuff in there. This stuff will be used in your gravy.

5) You will cute a little piece of skin to allow for room for your hand to go under the skin. You will make a little clip up near the neck area and on the bottom.

how to cook turkey

6) You will get the butter and divide it in half. You will take on half and place it in a measuring cup for later. The second half you will cut into thin squares.

7) You will place the butter under the skin of the turkey.

8) You will place the turkey in a roaster pan.

9) Brush the out side of the turkey with olive oil

10) Next place salt and pepper on the outside of the turkey just sprinkle a little bit.

11) Then sprinkle the herb of your choice. I used Herbes De Provence


12) Place 1 cup of chicken broth at the bottom of your turkey roasting pan

13) Then place your turkey in a roasting bag ( I do not do this) You do not need one. It makes clean up easier. I just buy a foil roasting pan.

14) Turn your oven to 400 degrees once the oven has reached this temperature I place my turkey in the oven with foil over the turkey for 60 minutes.

15) Turn down the temperature to 325 degree for the remaining cooking time

16) I set my microwave timer to go off every 30 minutes so I can go over and pour the liquid at the bottom of the pan over the turkey. This is called basting.

17) Thirty minutes before the bird should be done I remove the foil.

18) I check the turkey often to see that it reaches 180 degrees. I do so in the fattest part of the bird.

19) I often crisp the skin by melting that final half of the butter and painting it on the skin of the turkey.


20) Then I turn on broil for about 3 minutes while watching carefully to make sure I do not burn the turkey.

21) Place foil lightly over the top and let the turkey rest before serving.

how to cook turkey

22) Finally, put this on a serving dish and throw flour on your forehead and pretend this was VERY hard.

How to Cook a Turkey

• 12-pound turkey: 3 to 4 hours at 325 degrees

• 15-pound turkey: 4 to 4 ½ hours at 325 degrees

• 18-pound turkey: 4 ½ to 5 hours at 325 degrees

• 20-pound turkey: 5 to 6 hours at 325 degrees

I came up with some awesome ways to use leftovers.. Turkey Leftovers 

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  1. Cintia Scanlan says

    I am so grateful that you took the time and made a dummy proof, step by step picture guide to cooking a turkey. As someone that didnt have turkey growing up, this is a life saver.

  2. Sandra Bickel says

    Married 9 years…and I fairly ashamed to say I’ve never cooked my own turkey. LOL! Probably won’t anytime soon either. 🙂

  3. Kim S says

    I just use butter and Natures Seasoning on my turkey. I also cook it breast side down to keep the white meat moist. I never worry about how it looks, just how it tastes. Just a suggestion. 🙂

  4. Jennifer says

    Quick question in your directions it says to cook on 400 for 60 minutes and for a 15 lb bird to cook 4 to 4 1/2 hours at 325 does this include the 60 min or is the 60 min an addition to the 4 hours? Please respond soon! THanks!!!

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