How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey Testimonials Page 7
- I found your recipe on how to cook a turkey and used it to cook my own Easter turkey for my family (my first time making turkey). The turkey was perfect. Everyone loved it! Thanks! Jeanne C., 4/5/10
- I had a turkey in the freezer since last December, and here it is September already. Dear wife said cook it, or get rid of it.
I have prepared a few turkeys over the years, but none were particularly memorable. So I went to web and found your site at the top of the list.
Being a simple man, I liked the sound of your cooking method, as it was little more than "set it and forget it". Just right for me.
I followed the instructions you provided. Only difference was I added a little turmeric and paprika to the salt and pepper to add color to the bird as it cooks.
The result was great! The bird was moist and tender. Dear wife was very pleased and this is ALWAYS A GOOD THING.
Thanks for the information. Please include us on your mail list of new and/or improved cooking info.
Mike and Chris R., Ruston, LA 9/5/10
- I tried out this recipe for New Years and really impressed all of my friends. They are still talking about my epic turkey and can't wait until I make it again. Hands down the best turkey any of us have ever eaten in our lives! Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe! Keven J., 3/23/10
- Since turkey is my daughter's favourite, I have been roasting them for years. I've used your method and have roasted all sizes of turkey, both fresh and frozen, and in two different ovens--both newer models, so I am going to assume that the oven temperature is accurate. The only problem that I've encountered is the time. It always takes a lot longer than your chart--sometimes up to 2 hours longer depending upon the size of the turkey. This is while using a temperature 270 F--20 degrees higher than you recommend. I am at a higher altitude, so perhaps this is the reason. Also, I thoroughly wash the turkey inside, drain in well and then dry it well using a towel. I don't know if this has any altering effects. In any case, my turkey is still incredibly juicy and moist, so I thank you. Dr. Barb S., Ontario, 9/19/10
Comment: The higher altitude definitely does affect the cooking time.
- I had to tell you that your simple instructions turned out a perfect turkey last Christmas! I didn't add it to my Favourites, so I went searching around for your site again and was extremely relieved to find it! Honestly, everyone kept raving about the fabulous turkey.... Thanks again! Erin P., Thunder Bay, ON Canada 10/6/10
- It's my second year of university, and the first time I've made turkey without my mother keeping an eye on me. We didn't have a roasting pan big enough for the turkey, so we had to use a disposable aluminum one with aluminum foil on top. I've never slow-cooked a turkey before, but this turned out AMAZING. It took a lot longer than your directions gave (I'm thinking because we didn't have a quality pan), we had a ~14lb bird in for almost 6 hours. I took the cover off for the last 20-30 mins and bumped the heat to 300 so that the skin would crisp up, and even so I've never had a juicier, more delicious turkey! I out cooked my mom on my first try. THANKS!!
Steph D., 10/8/10
- I have never cooked a turkey before. In fact, I can burn water! I used your method to a T on a plain old Safeway 18 lb turkey. I had so many complements from family and friends. Thanks for making my 1st turkey experience so great. Matt Bortolin, 10/25/10
- Well written instructions turkey instructions. Made me laugh out loud Rita H., 11/11/10
- My first turkey ever was perfect thanks to you! I followed your directions except I only covered the breast with tinfoil and left the dark meat exposed. I also rubbed butter under and on top of the skin. I left a thermometer in the white meat and waited for it to register to about 170. After 20 minutes of searing, I left it in the oven at 250 for about 4.5 hours which was right on for a 13lb turkey. I can't wait to make one again. Thank you for helping me to impress the inlaws! Stacey M., 11/15/10
- I so agree with your idea of putting the butter UNDER the skin! I have been doing this for over 20 years after having tried it on my first turkey. At the time I had always been taught to rub butter on the outside of the skin. When I was cooking my own I thought "why on the outside when it will just melt off" and I took a half cube of butter, quartered it, and put two clumps on each side under the skin. I have NEVER had a dried out turkey and have people be amazed at how moist it is. Now that I have a computer I was curious to see if or how many recipes for this method I could find, surprisingly enough yours was the only 1 out of 25 recipes I checked that said under the skin. Kudos on figuring out and bless you for sharing. I too will do my part by sharing this secret and hopefully there will be less stress and better eating for all. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family (and the other Holidays too.)
Erin H., 11/17/10
- My mother passed away almost 2 years ago & she always did the thanksgiving cooking. Well last year me & my brother did it perfectly thanks to your website!! Our minds were blown away by how good it tasted. Then i cooked my x-mas dinner/turkey for the whole family by myself using your techniques. So i come back every year now to your website for a perfect thanksgiving dinner. Thank you so much! Richie W., 11/19/10
- My Turkey came out great! Even my finicky cat loved it.Thank you for the great recipe.But I think I made a mistake. When I turned the oven down from 475 to 250 I opened the oven door for several minutes to let out the heat, so the oven could actually get down to 250,which I thought was the desired temperature. After being up straight through the night, with only catnaps in order to check the turkey hourly after 1:30 a.m. which was when the turkey should have been done, I figure I was not supposed to let the heat out of the oven. lol My turkey took 11 hours to cook but it tastes great! Next time I know not to let the heat out.Thank you again:)
Dionne T., 11/20/10
- The best Turkey I have EVER made. 25 people all agreed it was the very best turkey and couldn't believe how moist it was! Mary Ellen C., 11/22/10
- I cooked my very 1st turkey last year for our annual Christmas family dinner and I was terrified to say the least. I followed every step in your instructions and my entire family loved the turkey. So now I'm in charge of the turkey making for Thanksgiving and Christmas for now on. Thanks so much for such a great and EASY recipe. Thanks!
Dana J., 11/23/10
- Let me preface this by saying that I can hardly make microwave popcorn without messing it up! I have a very large family (roughly 30 people) at my house for Thanksgiving. I had never cooked a turkey before two years ago. I found your website and used this recipe. Now no one else in the family is allowed to do the turkey at Thanksgiving! For the past two years it has been the hit of the holidays! Tender and juicy and delicious. No one even used the gravy that I slaved over (poured it out of a can and heated it up!) because the turkey was so moist. Will never use any other method! Rusty E., 10/23/10
- Your turkey cooking instructions are dead on!
My turkey was the best we've ever had! Very tender and juicy.
I was a little concerned about the 275 temp, but the bird was amazing!
Thank you! 11/25/10
Note: Should be 250 degrees F.
- I made my first thanksgiving turkey today using your tips/charts/suggestions and O.M.G it was AWESOME!! So very moist and well worth the time and energy. Thank you so much for the information. i will do this again and again and again! And recommend it to everyone. I used thyme and parsley flakes to season under the skin and it was so good! I ate so much my pants don't fit and I need a nap!
- It turned out pretty good. No juice so I had to add water the last hour. Thank you. Janet R., 11/25/10
- We finally had Thanksgiving Dinner at our home. I wanted to try something new. I was a little worried about the low heat. But, it was a huge hit. People in my family said that they never tasted a turkey so moist. I did use a turkey bag, after the 475 F* 20 minutes.
It took 6 hours for a 20 lbs Honeysuckle White. My Aunt is going to make soup out of the remains. Respectfully, Paul I. Sr., 11/25/10
- Just used your recipe for our Thanksgiving turkey. My wife did not want me to cook it that way especially when I did not stuff it. The 11 lb turkey came out great and exactly on time. I did however raise the temp for the last 35 minutes and uncovered it to brown the skin more. The white meat was very juicy. The final temp reached 185 before I removed it from the oven. Very tender and moist throughout. Thank you. Slow cooking is the way to go. Sincerely Michael, 11/25/10
- I want to thank you for your wonderful directions and ideas. This Thanksgiving was my first time trying to cook a turkey, and it was an absolute success. I was certainly nervous trying an "unorthodox" method, especially for my first try, but I am glad that I did. I followed the directions to the letter, and everything turned out perfectly. Thanks so much!! Josh A., 11/25/10
- My husband and myself wanted to fill you in on how our turkey turned out. This is the very first time we've ever made a turkey. As you can picture it we were super nervous about it. I decided to surf the web for a how to type of thing and thankfully found you guys. We had been thawing the turkey for like a week and with our luck today being thanksgiving the turkey was still somewhat frozen. So we let it thaw out a little more. At around 11 am we decided to start cooking (fingers crossed). We followed your very easy steps and got started. I was so afraid that it wasn't going to cook or we were going to be dipping the turkey in water to be able to just get it down. So after about 4 hrs ( I forgot to mention the turkey was about 18lbs) we were getting worried since the thermometers hadn't popped yet. I took a look and felt it needed to be left in a little longer just to be safe. In the mean time I got the rest of the meal ready. It was now 6pm and we decided to take it out (still fingers crossed). I am glad to say that our very first turkey turned out even better then what we had hoped for. It was so very juicy and full of flavor. The only sad thing is that neither of our families are going to believe that we made a delicious turkey on the very first try. So thank you so very much for the wonderful website. Jessica W., 11/25/10
- I cooked my first ever beginning-to-end turkey today following your instructions. Since they were your instructions and not my recipe, it's not bragging for me to say it was easily THE BEST turkey I've ever had! Very, very tasty and most importantly - and this is what makes it so different from all the turkey I've had over the years - it was nice and juicy. Absolutely perfect!
I used a digital meat thermometer to monitor the temp every two or three hours.
After about 5 hours I had to increase the oven temp a little to get the breast and thigh temps to the required 170/180. Other than that, I followed your instructions to the letter.
The only other deviation I made was for my wife - she requested browned skin.
So I took the tinfoil off, and cooked it at 350 for just under 15 minutes.
Again - THANK YOU, and Happy Thanksgiving Tom S., Centerville, GA 11/25/10
- I want to say thank you. the turkey turned out great. it was very moist and yummy. I did have to cook it for one hour longer than what you said and I turned up the heat, but that is because my oven doesn't work right. to get it to 350, I turn it to 450 for about 10 or more minutes. Thank you so much. Leia 11/25/10.
- I know everyone claims their recipes are the best but I must say, of the few turkeys I've cooked, and the many I've eaten, this recipe was excellent! I was nervous about cooking it at such a low temperature, but it came out fully cooked right on time! This year I volunteered to bring the turkey to my in-laws (my husband's mother is incredibly critical). Everyone loved it. The pictures were a definite plus to illustrate the butter/rosemary/thyme technique.
Plus, by going to your website I found the perfect Christmas gift for both my husband and father in law - The FOFA key chains! I've read the reviews and it looks like another winner. I'm going to order two after I send you this email. Thank you so much!
Shannon S., 11/26/10
- Thank you so much for your site. I followed your instructions and this was the first year my turkey was phenomenal! It was so moist, flavorful and everyone enjoyed it immensely! I prepared the turkey by melting butter and added Thyme (I do not like Rosemary); I separating the skin from the breast as you advised and added the melted butter & Thyme ~ it was not hard at all. I salt and peppered the outside of the bird as well. I fully preheated my convection oven to 475 degrees. I did add a little chicken stock to the pan. I cooked for 20 mins covered to seal it and then turned the temp down to 250 degrees and it only took an additional 5 hours (15 mins per pound). Let it rest for about 20-30 mins. He was delicious! Kind regards,
Sandy (from New Jersey) 11/26/10
- I just have to say, this is my FIRST turkey ever, and it was practically a standing ovation performance from out of the oven. The breast meat nearly melted off the bone. I never thought the word succulent could be used in the same sentence as "turkey" but it's true! This turkey was succulent! It was so juicy and tender, I was totally impressed and going back for more. I just used a regular roasting pan, covered the bird with tin foil, followed the directions to the letter and that was it. I'm at altitude so I had to lower my oven temp. by a few degrees and let it cook a half hour longer, but no biggie. I could have left it in another hour and I bet it would have still been juicy and soft.
Thank you so much for helping me have a successful Thanksgiving dinner!
Becky F., 11/26/10
- This is the second Thanksgiving I have used your recipe and method for cooking the perfect turkey. Both years the turkeys have been absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your cooking expertise on the internet for someone like me who is normally not very talented in the kitchen. A. B. Blythewood, S. C. 11/26/10
- I used your methods this time. Even with a questionable meat thermometer making me cook the turkey longer, it came out juicy and tasted wonderful. It was the best I've ever cooked! I thought your methods made complete sense and I wondered, frankly, why people didn't use these previously. The butter under the skin and oil on top was perfect. We didn't have any Rosemary so I skipped that step and will try it next time. Everyone at the table had seconds. Thanks for creating such detailed website! It gave me a lot of confidence. We'll probably have turkey more often with this recipe change!
PS Here's my new personal recipe for the best dressing you'll ever have! Buy 1 or 2 boxes of turkey stuffing and make it according to instructions on the box. Use a fairly large (tall) pot so you have room to stir up the ingredients well. Sautee 1/2 cup of chopped onion in butter until its transparent then add that to the pot. Stir. Add in 1-2 cups of dried cranberries, 1 cup of plump raisins. These van be white or dark raisins, or both--it's up to your tastes. Add in 1 cup of canned chopped pineapple. Do not drain the pineapple. Just pour out the can into a bowl, then scoop out the amount you want and put it in the pot. Stir well. Optionally, add some 1 cup chopped pecans. Place in a serving dish and serve! Yummy! Feel free to adjust the amounts according to your tastes. Another great option is to add in 1 cup of green seedless grapes, sliced in half or in thirds if they are large. Add those to the pot just when the stuffing mix is finished and it is at its highest temperature. Stir. Then add everything else after that. Enjoy! Karen M., Fairfax, VA 11/26/10
- I cooked my very first Thanksgiving turkey today and it turned out great. I googled "how to cook a thanksgiving turkey" and found your site. I used your method of cooking and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I followed the instructions and I also baked breast side down because that's how my mom doest it. It is juicy and flavorful and I'm so excited. Thanks. Angel S., 11/26/10
- I have never cooked a turkey before so I googled a recipe and yours came up. I followed your recipe, used the same temperatures you listed, and calculated the time as suggested. I'm pleased to report my 13 pound turkey a success. It came out terrific, and my 12 guests and myself enjoyed it!
I am no longer intimidated about cooking a turkey. Ü Thank you for the recipe, steps, charts, and even the pictures. You helped a novice be victorious this Thanksgiving! Have a blessed holiday season! Sincerely, Lena, Arizona 11/27/10
- The turkey was amazing!! We did a few things a little different, though. We did a brine with bacon salt, kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. We also wrapped the entire turkey with bacon about an hour before it was done. It took about a half hour or so longer than expected to finish. We also accidentally cooked it at 475 for a half hour instead of twenty minutes. But it all turned out fine. We just kept checking the temperature with a meat thermometer. Couldn't have done it without you guys! Thank you! Jeff B., 11/28/10
- I FOLLOWED YOUR INSTRUCTIONS, BUT DID ADD STUFFING. MY TURKETY BAKED 7 HRS @ 250* AFTER THE INITIAL 20 MIN @ 475*. MINE WEIGHED 18.75 LBS.
THANK YOU, BONNIE G, 11/28/10
I still don't recommend placing the stuffing in the turkey.
- Thank you for providing your How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey recipe. It came out very well and yummy. Followed your technique and cooked it "slow" and it was very moist. Thanks, Angelica F., 11/29/10
- Just wanted to let you know that I used your roasting method for my Thanksgiving turkey this year and it was absolutely wonderful! The only thing that went wrong was that, even after three full days in the refrigerator, my turkey was still frozen in the middle. Therefore, the breast, wings and legs got done, but the meat on the back of the turkey did not. I was afraid to cook it longer (the breast meat was at 170º when I took the turkey out) as I was afraid it would dry out if I did. In any event, the meat that did get done was moist and delicious. I made roasted garlic mashed potatoes that were outstanding as well and at the end of the meal, my gravy bowl was still full.
Next year I will make sure to give my turkey 4-5 days to thaw. ?
Thanks for the great recipe. I will always use this method when cooking a turkey in the future. Regards, Cynthia C., 11/29/10
- All I have to say is thanks to your method on how to cook a turkey I am now stuck as the designated turkey chef for who knows how long! In all seriousness though, I have never even thought about cooking a turkey before in my life, found your site, decided to take a chance and it has to be hands down the best turkey I have ever eaten. I followed your method pretty much the whole way (aside from doing a little flavor injection for good measure). I did a 20lb bird, in a gas oven, with an oven bag, at between 250-275 degrees, for approximately 8 hours. It was delicious, I had family members BEGGING for leftovers! Thank you so much, once again. This was my first time hosting a Thanksgiving dinner and I'm honestly thinking about cook another bird this week just for fun! Thank you! Tom M., 11/29/10
- HI, MY NAME IS JERRY. I HAVE BEEN PART OF PREPARING A TURKEY WITH FAMILY OR ON MY OWN FOR MANY YEARS. THERE ALWAYS WAS AN ISSUE OF THE WHITE MEAT BEING DRY. THE LAST FEW YEARS MY FRIEND SUE AND MYSELF HAVE EXTENDED THE HOLIDAY A BIT BY COOKING A TURKEY THE SUNDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING. WE BUMPED INTO YOUR SITE THIS YEAR. YOU KNOW THE WAY BAKING WORKS, NO CHANGES. THAT IS THE APPROACH I USED CONCERNING YOUR RECIPE. I JUST WISH EVERYONE WHO WROTE COMMENTS ABOUT THEIR OWN VARIATION WOULD HAVE JUST STUCK TO THE EXACT RECEIPT. ANYONE WHO MADE THOSE CHANGES MISSED THE BEST TURKEY EVER. 475 DEGREES IN A PREHEATED OVEN 20MINS. COVERED..... DON'T TOUCH IT. DON'T LOOK AT IT. AF'TER 20MINS. 250 DEGREES 20 MINS. A POUND. SET THE TIMER, DON'T LOOK. DONT TOUCH. DON'T UNCOVER. RESULTS, THE BEST TURKEY EVER! SINCERELY, G.P. F., 11/30/10
- Followed the directions to the "t" and the "t" stood for TERRIFIC. Absolutly the best turkey in my 50+ years I'll never do another turkey any other way Thank You so very much. Bret D., 11/30/10