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Tips: How to Roast the Perfect Turkey for Thanksgiving Day

How to Roast the Perfect Turkey for Thanksgiving Day
Roast Turkey is easy if you follow these easy step by step instructions for Thanksgiving Day from Walking on Sunshine Recipes


Does the thought of roasting your turkey for Thanksgiving fill you with dread?

Are you afraid it's going to be dry and your guests will be complaining? Do you know how to clean and prep the turkey? Do you know how long to cook the turkey?

This week's tip will answer all your questions as I share with you my secrets for How to Roast the perfect Turkey for Thanksgiving Day.


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Thanksgiving is in a few weeks and it is my favorite holiday. There are no gifts to buy, no presents to wrap. It's all about FOOD. And I love the preparation that goes into the biggest meal of the year!
If you have roasted a chicken, you can roast a turkey. Just follow these easy steps and your turkey will be delicious. And make sure you check out my shopping list below for items that I like to use every year. 

How to Roast the Perfect Turkey

The Night Before Thanksgiving:


  • Remove the turkey from the packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. You can use these to make turkey stock if desired...I usually throw them away. 
  • Rinse the turkey under cold water; making sure you rinse the cavity with water as well.
  • Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Place the turkey on a tray and cover with paper towels and aluminum foil and place in the   refrigerator overnight. 

This is the perfect Roasting Pan Kit for your turkey this year and the one that I use! 

The Next Morning: 


  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and uncover. 
  • Place the turkey, breast side up in the roasting pan.
  • If you are roasting the turkey with stuffing, add your prepared stuffing now to the cavity of the turkey.  If you are not stuffing the turkey, make sure you salt and pepper the cavity.  
  • You can also add onions, apples, celery, carrots and parsnips to the cavity of the bird.  These will all add to moisture and flavor the turkey.  Make sure you stuff loosely.  
  • Turn the wings back or under the bird.  Using kitchen twine, truss the legs of the turkey together
  • Cover the turkey with softened butter, the more the better.  This is Thanksgiving and calories don’t count. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper.  I like to also use poultry seasoning.  You can use whatever spices you prefer.  
  • Roast the turkey at 400 degrees for the first 20 minutes.  Then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue cooking until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh reads 170 degrees.   
  • If you notice that the turkey is getting too brown while it is cooking, cover loosely with aluminum foil.  
  • Don’t forget to baste your turkey!  I like to baste every 20 minutes or so using chicken stock.  I also like to baste the turkey a few times with melted butter.  
  • Once the turkey is finished cooking, remove it from the oven.   Take the turkey out of the roasting pan and place on a cutting board.  Cover the turkey with aluminum foil.  Let the turkey rest for 30 to 60 minutes before carving.
  • Instructions on how to make lump-free gravy are in my post for Pot Roast.  It's the SAME recipe, only you'll be using the turkey drippings for turkey gravy instead of the beef broth from the pot roast.  Step-by-step photo instructions are included too! 


Here's a handy PRINTABLE for you to use on Thanksgiving morning. 



I like to roast my turkey early in the day and have it carved before my guests arrive; that way I can have my kitchen clean!  I then place the sliced turkey in my roaster pan to keep warm.  I fill the bottom tray of my roaster with warm water and then place the sliced turkey in the other tray and insert into the roaster; turning the roaster to the warm setting.

The warm water keeps the sliced turkey warm without drying it out.  I usually serve the turkey right from the roaster that is set up on my buffet table.  You can see the roaster in the left hand corner of the buffet table set up in our kitchen a few years ago. 
Buffet Table set for Thanksgiving from Walking on Sunshine Recipes

The perfect side dish to serve for Thanksgiving is my recipe for Company Mashed Potatoes
You can make this recipe the day before Thanksgiving!  It's the perfect "prep-ahead" recipe to make your life easier on Thanksgiving Day. 


Circulon Nonstick Bakeware 17-Inch by 13-Inch Roaster with U-RackCalphalon Contemporary Hard Anodized Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack 5 pc. SetNesco 4818-14 Classic Roaster Oven, 18-Quart, Porcelain Cookwell, IvoryOster CKSTRS23-SB-D 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid, Stainless Steel FinishParty Essentials UPK-33, 33 piece Party Serving Kit Includes Chafing Kits and Serving Utensils for all types of parties and events including Birthday, Holiday, Wedding, and GraduationWinware 8 Qt Stainless Steel Chafer, Full Size ChaferSterno 7-Ounce Entertainment Cooking Fuel, 6-PackMcCormick Poultry Seasoning, 0.65 oz





Easy step by step instructions for roasting the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving Day from Walking on Sunshine Recipes.



Scripture Cards Thanksgiving 2016 from Walking on Sunshine Recipes










3 comments

  1. Do you still host your weekly blog party? I am updating my list on the blog. Could you let me know?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great tips, thanks! I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year and will be following for more advice. I'd love for you to check out my free Christmas Card List and printable on my blog (and also linked through Link Party Palooza). Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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