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This Thanksgiving Turkey recipe is practically foolproof – it’s flavor packed and so tender and juicy with a golden, crispy skin. With my step-by-step tutorial, even first time cooks can pull this roast turkey recipe off stress-free!

Thanksgiving turkey, roasted and stuffed with onions, in a roasting pan
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About This Recipe

This perfect Thanksgiving Turkey will be the star of your family’s holiday dinner. Of course, the best turkey recipe needs the best Thanksgiving side dishes, like my Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Stuffing, and classic Green Bean Casserole.

This juicy turkey recipe isn’t complicated at all. There’s no brining, no basting, no weird cooking techniques. Just simple instructions to give you great results every time while your bird roasts stress-free.

In this post, you’ll learn tons of tips and tricks, plus step-by-step instructions for the most perfectly tender, incredibly juicy, totally stress-free, best Thanksgiving turkey recipe, ever! Your holiday meal is about to get a whole lot easier.

roasted turkey with crispy skin on a cutting board

Why This Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Works

  • It’s easy! Even a first time cook can make a delicious turkey for Thanksgiving, or any day, by following this easy turkey recipe. 
  • Placing butter underneath the turkey skin adds extra flavor and keeps the meat moist and juicy.
  • Covering the top with foil during the first few hours of cooking helps to keep the breast meat from drying out since the turkey legs take a little longer to cook.
  • Turning up the heat during the last hour ensures a golden, crispy skin without drying out the meat.


No brining, no basting, just simple ingredients for an exceptionally flavorful Thanksgiving turkey! Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and instructions.

  • The bird – For this recipe and the cooking times that go with it, I used a 12-pound turkey. This is a fairly average size that will feed 8-10 people.
  • Butter – Pats of butter are placed under the skin of each turkey breast. Add even more flavor by using my yummy Garlic Butter.
  • Onion and garlic – peel and stuff inside the cavity of the turkey. You can also add fresh herbs and citrus fruits, like lemon or orange, if you like.
  • Dry Rub – Mix together kosher salt, dried thyme, dried sage, rosemary, paprika, black pepper, and ground mustard and rub into the skin. This is also a delicious seasoning for Roast Chicken.
  • Equipment – A big roasting pan, preferably with a wire rack to hold the roast turkey up above the drippings.

How To Cook A Turkey: A Step By Step Tutorial

How To Defrost A Turkey

If your turkey is frozen, you will need to completely defrost it in the refrigerator before you even remove any of the packaging. Place your bird in a deep roasting pan in the fridge to catch any juices that may run out.

Resist the urge to thaw in your kitchen sink as this can encourage harmful bacteria to spread. Be sure to start defrosting the turkey a few days before you need to cook it.

How long do you defrost a turkey? A good rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours for every 4 pounds of turkey. So for our 12 pound bird, at least 3-4 days. To be safe I usually give it an extra 12-24 hours.

Once your turkey is fully defrosted, you can prep it for roasting using the recipe below.

raw whole turkey on a cutting board

How To Prep A Turkey For Roasting

Remove from packaging and remove extra parts. Remove the fully thawed turkey from its packaging. I usually do this in a large container in the kitchen sink. If included, remove the neck and the bag containing the gizzards and giblets. Keep these for making extra stock for the Homemade Turkey Gravy or discard them.

Dry the skin. Pat the skin dry with paper towels. Dry skin equals crispy skin!

Separate the skin from the breast. Using clean hands, gently lift the skin from the turkey breast starting on the side closest to the legs. Slide your hand underneath, separating the skin from the breast meat. Repeat the process with the other side.

hand slid under skin on a turkey breast

Add butter under the skin. Slide 3 pats of butter (1 pat = 1 tablespoon) under the skin on each side and spread it around with your fingers.

pats of butter placed underneath the skin on a turkey

Add seasoning and aromatics. Mix together the dry rub, sprinkle it all over the outside of the turkey, and press it into the skin. Sprinkle a little inside the cavity, too. Place the onions and garlic inside the cavity, then transfer the whole bird to a roasting pan with a rack.

whole raw turkey on a roasting rack in a pan

Roasting The Turkey

These instructions are for how to cook a 12 pound turkey in the oven. If your bird is bigger or smaller, you will need to adjust the cooking time based on the provided instructions. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full instructions, or check out the handy chart below.

  1. Preheat your oven. We start with the oven at 325℉, keeping it low and slow for 2 hours (depending on the size) so the meat gets moist and tender, then crank it up to 400 for the last hour to get that crispy skin.
  2. Cover. Cut a piece of foil large enough to cover the turkey breasts. Press it down and mold the foil to the shape of the breasts. This will keep the breasts from drying out. You’ll remove it before the turkey is finished cooking to brown the skin.
  3. Roast the turkey in the oven at 325℉ for 2 hours, adding additional time depending on the size (use the chart below). Then turn the heat up to 400℉, remove the foil, and roast until the cooked turkey reaches the optimal temperature. Use our handy guide below to adjust the time. (Be sure to pin this chart to save it for later!).
  4. Let the turkey rest. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes or up to 40 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to cook a Sweet Potato Casserole or warm up some dinner rolls.
graphic showing how to cook a turkey with times, temps and how many servings
onions stuffed in a roast turkey in a roasting pan

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pounds of turkey do I need?

A pound of turkey per person will feed your guests and leave them satisfied. But if you want leftovers, I recommend 1.5-2 pounds per adult and about half a pound per child. I personally think leftovers are awesome, because you can make Turkey Tetrazzini or Turkey and Stuffing Casserole.

How long do you cook a turkey?

A 12 pound turkey takes about 3 hours to cook. Start at 325℉ for 2 hours, then increase the temperature to 400℉ for another hour. For a larger bird, increase the initial cooking time (at 325℉) by 15 minutes per pound.

How do I keep my turkey moist?

One of the best tricks we have for keeping your cooked turkey juicy and moist is butter! Stuffing pats of butter under the skin creates a beautifully crisp skin, but it also melts and keeps the meat super moist and juicy.

Another trick I use is placing aluminum foil over the turkey breasts to help dissipate some of the heat and lock in moisture. Since dark meat takes longer to cook than light meat, this method lets the thighs and legs get their roast on while the breast gently cooks.

How do you know when the turkey is done?

A turkey should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉. Insert an instant-read meat thermometer in the base of the breast meat or the thickest part of the thigh, careful not to touch any bone. Those are the absolute basics.

The actual length of time it takes to reach the correct temperature will depend on the temperature of the bird before cooking, its size, and your oven temperature.

turkey leg and slice of breast meat on a white plate

Expert Tips

Every year we get lots of questions about how to cook a turkey, so we’ve put them all in one place. Hopefully, these helpful hints will take the guesswork out of cooking your turkey!

  • Resist the urge to wash your turkey. Washing poultry is a no-no and will just contaminate your sink. Remove from the packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
  • No basting? No brining? These extra steps are really unnecessary for achieving the perfect roast turkey. Basting requires constantly opening your oven, which costs you valuable heat and extends the cooking time. Brining isn’t necessary with a high-quality turkey.
  • Don’t cook inside of your turkey. If you cook stuffing inside your turkey, the meat will be dry before the stuffing reaches a temperature that’s safe to eat. Instead, stuff the turkey with aromatics like onions, garlic, celery, herbs, or lemons that will add a ton of flavor to the bird as well as to the drippings for pan gravy. Cook the stuffing in a baking dish, like my Classic Sausage Stuffing Recipe or Bacon and Onion Stuffing.
  • Save the turkey drippings. The drippings are used to make the gravy, and the flavor will complement beautifully.
turkey breast, spoon with gravy, green beans, mashe dpotatoes

Make Ahead, Storage, and Freezing

Make Ahead: Once your turkey is fully thawed, you prep it for roasting up to 24 hours in advance. Add the butter, seasoning, and aromatics, then cover loosely with foil and place in the fridge overnight. Take it out about 30 minutes before you put it in the oven so it can shake off the chill.

Storage: If you’re going to eat your leftovers within 3-4 days, store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the fridge. Use for sandwiches, BLT Turkey Wraps, tacos, and Turkey Soup.

Freezing: One of the reasons I love turkey leftovers is because I can keep some in my freezer and easily toss it in Turkey Shepherd’s Pie or in soups.

Reheating: If you’re just looking to reheat a late-night Thanksgiving dinner leftovers plate, you can do that in the microwave. If it’s frozen, thaw it overnight in the fridge before adding to other recipes.

Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Your Thanksgiving turkey may be the best ever, but you’re still going to need to fill some supporting roles. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving sides that will compliment your cooked turkey in the best way!

Side Dish Recipes:

101+ Thanksgiving
Side Dishes

Find all the sides you could possibly want for the perfect Thanksgiving menu!

sliced turkey breast on a white plate, turkey on a cutting board

Need a smaller turkey this year? Try my other easy turkey recipes for cooking a turkey breast in the air fryer, roasting in the oven, or even an Instant Pot Turkey Breast. Any of these recipes would be a great way to feed a smaller crowd, or to add some extra servings of turkey to your meal.


Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

4.97 from 173 votes
A Thanksgiving Turkey that's so juicy with a crispy skin. Easy step-by-step tutorial, even first time cooks can pull this turkey recipe off stress free!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12 people



  • 12 pound turkey thawed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1 Tablespoon pats
  • 1 1/2 yellow onions peeled and halved
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled

Dry Rub:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, combine the salt, thyme, sage, paprika, pepper, and ground mustard until evenly incorporated.
  • Remove the turkey from its packaging. From the bird’s cavity, remove the neck and the bag containing the gizzards and heart. (You can keep these items to make stock or discard them.)
  • Use a few paper towels to dry off the skin of the bird and inside the cavity.
  • Lift the skin over the turkey breast (on the side closest to the legs) and slide your hand under the skin separating it from the breast meat. Do this on both sides of the breast.
  • Insert three pats of butter under the skin on one side fo the turkey breast spreading them around evenly. Repeat on the other side.
  • Sprinkle the dry rub all over the turkey – breast, legs, wings, anything you can see. Using your hands press the rub into the skin a little. If you have any extra rub sprinkle it inside the cavity.
  • Place the onion halves and garlic cloves inside the turkey’s cavity.
  • Transfer the bird to your roasting pan. (I like to use a pan with a rack to keep the bottom of the turkey from getting soggy.)
  • Take a good sized piece of foil and place it over the turkey breast. (You want to make sure to the foil piece is big enough to fit over the whole breast.) Press down and mold the foil to the breast., let the ends stick out if the foil’s a bit big.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 2 hours. Carefully remove the foil from the turkey. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook the turkey for another hour, or until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165 degrees F and the skin is golden and crispy.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before carving.


This recipe is for a 12 pound bird. You will add 15 minutes per pound at the 325 degree cooking time. The temperature increase at the end does not change. Here is a handy list of how long to cook your turkey at different weights:
  • 10 pounds: 1 hour 30 minutes at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 12 pounds: 2 hours at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 14 pounds: 2 hours, 30 minutes at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 16 pounds: 3 hours at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  • 18 pounds: 3 hours, 30 minutes at 325 degrees; 1 hour at 400 degrees.
If you have questions, please be sure to read the entire post – we answer lots of questions and offer tons of helpful tips and tricks!
Be sure to save some of the drippings to make my turkey gravy!


Calories: 454kcalProtein: 70gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 232mgSodium: 361mgPotassium: 721mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 180IUCalcium: 35mgIron: 3mg
Keyword how to cook a turkey, thanksgiving turkey, turkey recipe

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Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. I made this turkey recipe for the first time and it was a big hit. But I did add chicken broth after the first hour. It was very moist and the skin seasonings were perfect. It’s very similar to my air fryer chicken seasonings. Thanks so much for a fabulous recipe. My go to from now on.

  2. This was an awesome recipe! Thank you! This year was my first time cooking a turkey. My family is usually pretty disinterested in eating turkey, but this year people were raving about it! Everything was right on–taste, moisture, timing. The only thing I added was a little apple cider in the pan. Thank you!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous recipe. I followed this for today’s Thanksgiving turkey and it turned out perfectly!

  4. This recipe was easy to follow and DELICIOUS! It was the first time we made a turkey and the step by step was very helpful. The turkey was so moist and flavorful. We got so many compliments! Will definitely save for future use and share with family and friends!

  5. Hello! I’ve used this recipe for at least 4 years now and love it! I always forget how to calculate cook time for larger birds though. We have about a 24# one this time. What do you suggest for the split time between the two temps? I plan to double the rest of the recipe ingredients too. Thanks!

      1. I’m going to do 4 hours at the lower temp and an hour at the higher one. I hope it’s long enough! I’ll have to make notes for next year so I don’t forget how it went!

  6. Great Tips! s
    I used my uncle’s recipe. Thaw a frozen turkey for 4 days around 21 lbs. Put celery, carrots, onion, garlic, tomatoes diced, and stuffing. Put the turkey in oven bag. Cook it at 400 degrees for approximately 4 and 1/2 hours. It comes out absolutely golden crisp outside and tender moist inside. The trick I believe is the oven bag.

  7. This was the very first recipe I have used to make a turkey & probably will be my forever recipe to follow. It’s delicious & juicy!! One year I had drippings & it was so good!!!!! *cries* but I don’t know why some years I get drippings & some years I don’t. Regardless, this recipe is too good to even want to try another lol. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR RECIPE!!! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

    1. I have had that same issue at times, which is why I heartily recommend that you have some turkey broth on hand for make the gravy, then add whatever drippings you can get. It’s also a great reason to save the giblets for the gray to add more flavor.

  8. This is THE only way I make my turkey every year for Thanksgiving, it truly is the best recipe. This year I got a huge fresh bird from a local farm bc more people will be here.. 35 lbs 🤦🏻‍♀️. Just making sure I did the numbers right –
    7¼ hours at 325 and 1hour at 400? Do you think I should let it rest more than an hour? 😩

  9. Can this same recipe be used if cooking just a turkey breast? Would I alter anything? I have used this recipe for the past few years and absolutely love it, but this year decided to go with 2 turkey breasts.

  10. Hi Kristin,
    Can I use an aluminum disposable roasting pan to cook this turkey. I have a roasting rack that will fit inside. Your recipe looks beautiful, but I am wondering if the disposable roasting pan will affect the cooking time. Thank you in advance.

  11. If my roasting pan has a lid, is it okay to use it, or do you still recommend covering the turkey with aluminum foil?

    1. Go with the foil. The lid would create too much steam, adding moisture to the skin and making it harder to get it crispy at the end.

    1. It wouldn’t be the same and wouldn’t create that crispy skin. But, if you prefer to use the bag, you can. The skin just might be a little soggy.

      1. Thanks Kristin I think I’m gonna go with original recipe it seems like its a no brainer.Le you know how it turns out.
        Happy Thanksgiving:)

  12. I make Kristin’s recipe every year and everyone LOVES it! Always comes out perfect. I have a question this year Kristin, this year I needed a bigger bird due to more guests. I went a kinda crazy and bought a 29 lb bird and I’m kind of freaking out on how to cook it using your method still. Please tell me it will still work! I guess I didn’t realize how ridiculously huge this bird was. Any advice is appreciated .

    1. Hi Jamie, First, I’m so happy that you’ve really loved this recipe – I love it too!! As long as the 29 pound bird will fit easily in your oven, you should be able to follow the same rule of thumb as shared in the recipe. Using that formula, you should cook the turkey for 6 hours at 325℉ and an hour at 400℉. Good luck, and please come back and share the results!

      1. So I tweaked the spices I put the recipe on the 3x amount and tweaked the spices as needed. I cooked it for I believe about 5.5 hours and kept a thermometer in it the whole time to monitor the temperature. Long story short it came out AMAZING! So juicy and flavorful. Everywhere I read said a turkey this big would be dry. Not at all. Still my go to recipe for any size bird. This would definitely work on chicken too. Thank you for another successful thanksgiving Kristin!

        1. Hi Jamie! Thanks so much for coming back to share your feedback. I’m so happy to hear that your bird was perfection!!

  13. I made Kristin’s best turkey recipe last year for Thanksgiving and it truly is the best turkey recipe! All 25 family guests loved the turkey and I didn’t have leftovers. Thanks, Kristin!

  14. I will use your recipes this Thanksgiving,they sound wonderful and baking the turkey with your recipe has to be wonderful!!! I can not wait to use them
    Thank you so very much! Shirley

  15. I have been using this recipe for the last couple of years. It always turns out so good. I had searched for years for a good recipe and this is by far the best.

  16. I’ve made this recipe 3 years in a row and everytime my turkey turns out perfect. Everyone is always so impressed by how good and moist it is. I was very intimidated by making a turkey at first but this recipe makes all the difference!

  17. As most others have said, this turned out amazingly moist. I guess cooking low and slow works! Next time, I’ll have to do it according to the recipe. I had no garlic and no onions, so I just added garlic powder and onion powder to the dry rub. Will proably do that again, but also add the garlic and onion to the cavity.

  18. kristin you are a QUEEN and I now have an altar of you in my house that I kneel before, each day.

    I’m a first time turkey roaster and I had the bright idea to host a Friendsgiving. was so stressed with how to prepare this thing and cook it.

    but this recipe! so simple! an absolute clown such as myself was made to look like a Top Chef!!!!!

    so delicious and so easy I’m using this recipe + method every year!!!

  19. This is my go to Thanksgiving Turkey recipe. It comes out super flavorful. Juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Hands down THE best turkey I’ve ever made. I’ve tried different recipes – much more complicated – in the past, and none even compared to this. I adjusted the amounts for a 16lb turkey and it came out perfect! Juicy, flavorful, and that extra hour at 400 degrees crisped up the skin beautifully. I used garlic, onion, celery, and lemon for the cavity aromatics. I loved how easy this was, and the most delicious turkey. This is the only one I’ll make every year from now on.

  21. I will never NOT use this recipe!!! It was FANTASTIC! First time hosting ever and for 15 people, no less. The turkey came out perfect!!! Made it as written with the exception of Rosemary because I’m not a huge fan so I didn’t have any. I also seasoned the turkey the night before. Threw the onion and garlic plus the butter in the cavity, rubbed butter under the skin and cooked for 3h45m @325 then and hour at 400 (19lb bird). Perfection! Thanks for this awesome recipe!!!! Simple and delicious!

  22. Everyone reading this review this in Not a 5 ⭐️ It’s a 10 ⭐️ Recipe.
    I have not cooked a lot of Turkeys and came across this recipe. I followed the instructions to a tee and the house smelled so good and the Turkey was so moist and delicious. My mother in law said she couldn’t shovel it fast enough in her mouth. She also said this was the Best Turkey she has ever eaten. She’s a young 85 and has eaten a lot of Turkeys. Everyone raved about it. Thank you for sharing Kristin you made my Thanksgiving a hit!

  23. 9/10! And only because I never give 10/10 lol. 49 years, 29 years of making Thanksgiving dinner and this is by far the best Turkey. The unsalted butter (globs is what I call them) really do make a difference and I could actually taste the butter and dry rub all over! 22lb Turkey and not a dry piece of meat. I love the idea of an hour at 400 at the end not the beginning I truly think that helps it from drying out. I’m so happy with this and so was the Fam! Thanks for the recipe and Happy Thanksgiving 🍁🦃

    1. Hi Sandy, we are so honored that we made it to 9. Thanks for taking the time to share with us. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Only thing I can think is that the skin was too loose. Because the skin is usually pretty tight and will hold the pats of butter pretty tight.

  24. I made this today for Thanksgiving and had more compliments than any other recipe that I’ve tried in the past!
    This is definitely a keeper and the only recipe I will use in the future.
    Thank you!!

  25. This turkey turned out fabulous! I made it for 2 separate festivities! Everyone loved it. So easy to follow and turns out amazing! This will be my go to recipe every Thanksgiving. I didn’t have a rack that would fit inside my roasting pan, but crumpled up foil in the bottom of the pan worked just as well. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. I’m making a 19lb shady brook Turkey. The package says to cook for 3 3/4hrs at 325. Can this be wrong? Will my Turkey be dry if I do the 4hr low and 1at 400?

    1. This recipe is different based on my experience. The packaging is not wrong, but there are several different ways to cook a turkey.

      1. I have a 20 pound turkey that I just put in the oven at 325. So the foil won’t stick to the skin if it’s on there for the first 4 hours?

        1. It shouldn’t stick to the turkey. If you have concerns you could remove it sooner, but you risk burning the top of the turkey.

  27. Hello, I have an 8 pound turkey, because we have a pretty small group this year. Would cooking it for 1 hour at 325, and then 1 hour at 400 be the right amount? it looks like that based off the math of the other ones, just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

  28. What are your recommendations for stuffing the turkey? I have a recipe for stuffing, but do I need to do anything besides add more roasting time?

  29. The first time I ever made a Turkey I used this recipe a couple of years ago. It was the best turkey I have ever had. I have some fantastic cooks in my family and they all said the same thing. I think they were shocked at how good it was considering I was a newbie to cooking Turkeys. They all asked for the recipe. THANK YOU so much! I will be using this recipe again this year.

    1. I appreciate your detailed post, especially the pictures. My first question is how long should I cook a 5lb turkey? My turkey is only 4.89 lbs. It is for our small family on the day of thanksgiving, to satisfy us until we have our large family get together over the weekend. I realized that your chart only went down to 8lbs. My other question is when you say dried sage, dried rosemary, and dried thyme- do you mean ground sage/ground thyme/crushed rosemary OR rubbed sage/thyme leaves/rosemary leaves?
      Any help is appreciated! Thank you!!

      1. Hi Jasmin, Are you talking about a whole turkey, or do you have a turkey breast? I haven’t cooked one that small, but given the size, I probably wouldn’t use the foil and just cook for 15 minutes per pound at 325, or 13 minutes per pound at 350. Also you can use either for the herbs, but I use ground.

  30. So excited to make this!!! Do you take your turkey out of the fridge and let it get to room temp before putting in the oven? Or take directly from the fridge to the oven?

    1. I personally get our turkey every year from Butcher Box. However, I love a good Butterball turkey and actually Costco usually has a great turkey, but I haven’t seen any there recently.

  31. This recipe sounds great. I have been looking at many turkey recipes to decide how to cook my turkey. Many say to start at high temperature and then turn down and also to baste the turkey. It looks like your recipe turns temperature up at end and does not require basting. Do you find this preferable. Thanks again for sharing your recipes.

    1. Hi Lisa, Yes this method turns out great for me year after year! Cooking at a lower heat first lets everything cook, and then turning up the heat towards the end browns and crisps the skin. So juicy and moist! No basting required!

  32. Hi, thinking about spatchcocking the turkey while using your recipe for the 1st time. Do you think it will work? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Marion, I’ve never spatchcocked a turkey, so I don’t know how well it works. But I know this recipe is delicious if you want to give it a try!

  33. I cannot express how much I love this blog post and recipe. It’s absolutely perfect. It’s simple to follow. Gives you plenty of good information and tips without it being overwhelming. I didn’t have paprika or mustard powder. But I literally just made the turkey and let it rest for an hour and sliced it up and it was absolutely gorgeous and delicious! Thank you so much! I pinned the recipe for later!

  34. I have not made this turkey yet, I plan to this year. Do you dry brine it? Or wet brine it? Can you please share your best recipe for either dry or wet brining? Thank you soo much!

  35. Hi! What do you mean by covering just the breast with foil? You leave the keys uncovered? How long do you keep the foil on for? Thanks!

    1. Hi Janine, I’m assuming you mean leave the “wings” uncovered. And yes, that is correct. Just cover the breast with foil.

  36. Going to try to make this recipe for thanksgiving this year, if just looks so good! I was wondering what were the measurements to the gravy that was being made at the end of the video?

    1. Hi Nicole – You can find the recipe for turkey gravy HERE. I added a link in the recipe notes and it’s in the post as well. Good luck and enjoy!

  37. Just had a question….this recipe looks great… It’ll be my first time making a turkey this year and I just didn’t know if I used a Reynolds oven bag for the turkey if it is recommended vs. use of the foil? Just wondering your thoughts! Thanks!

  38. My husband and I have used this recipe the last 2 years for Thanksgiving, and all of our family has went crazy over it!! They have all raved about how this is the best turkey they have ever had and have made my husband and I the designated turkey cookers from now on lol!! They have all asked me to send them this specific recipe because it is that dang good!! I think the pads of butter under the skin elevate the turkey to a whole new level!!

    1. Hi Michaella, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this awesome comment. So happy your family loves it. Thanks for stopping by.

      1. For the garlic butter under the skin- is the recipe you linked for that proportioned already for the amount that needs to go under the skin of the Turkey? Or would you suggest different measurements. I have a 14 pound Turkey

        1. No, it’s to make a batch of garlic butter. If you cut that recipe in half, it should be fine, but you might end up with a little leftover.

  39. This recipe is perfect. When I first used it I got so many compliments. It was the best turkey I had ever had. It’s now my go to. Hack for those out there, Bacon Grease makes an amazing tasting alternative to butter in this recipe and it’s easier to spread around the bird. Yummm

  40. So impressed with your recipe and comments. I do have a question though. I am planning to take Thanksgiving Dinner to a shut-in couple. Can I bake the turkey as per your instructions the day before, carve it, put it on a serving plate and take it to them the next day to be reheated in their oven?

  41. Soooo how do you recommend defrosting a turkey? 🤣I think that’s where I mess up! Do you leave it opened uncovered for a few days in the fridge?

    1. Hi Beth, I usually defrost (sealed) for a couple of days, then unwrap it and remove all the innards, and place it in a large baking dish in the fridge, totally exposed, so it can dry out overnight. Just be sure that nothing is touching it.

  42. I have used this recipe for the past few Thanksgivings and it’s always turned out fantastic. Thank you so much for your recipe! I’m wondering if there’s a roast chicken version with cook times and temperature for it. Possible to just divide the lbs and cook times?

  43. I cooked my first turkey 2 years ago using this recipe. It was so easy to follow and turned out wonderful!! This is the only recipe I use!!!!

  44. What can I use instead of ground mustard? By chance can I use regular mustard? I plan on making this tomorrow and spaced on getting ground mustard at the store. 🙁

  45. I’ve made this recipe two years in a row with perfect results!!! I’ve gotten so many compliments too, everyone loved it! I was so intimidated to cook a turkey but this recipe broke it down in simple easy to follow steps and a turkey that comes out moist and flavorful without basting! Thank you thank you thank you for posting!!!!!!!!!

  46. Thank you you for such an amazing recipe! I did this last year and it came out so juicy! I can’t remember if I had my oven rack on low or should I raise it up a bit? Thanks in advance!

  47. This was my second year cooking The Turkey, and my second year using this recipe! 🙂 Thank you for sharing! Amazing flavor, perfect doneness, and soooo easy!

    1. Sooo excited to cook this recipe for Christmas dinner. I’m planning on cooking a 20 pounds turkey so I guess I would have to cook it for 4 H at lower temp and another hour at 400. Is that correct?
      Also, what’s the ratio of seasoning needed for a 20 lb turkey?

  48. First time trying this. I used a 24-pound turkey. I was nervous trying a new recipe on such an important day. It came out perfect. Very moist and beautifully brown. I had rave reviews from my family. This will be my go-to for Thanksgivings to come. Can’t wait to try it on chicken. Thank you.

  49. Aloha
    This recipe is amazing and a keeper. The breast and dark meat are so moist and delicious. My rub was Hawaiian salt, poultry seasoning, paprika. Oranges and lemons from my trees. My friend who only eats breast meat said it was the best turkey she ever tasted. Mahalo for sharing.

  50. This is my second year using this recipe. Turkey turned out great, family loved it. Thanks for sharing this.

  51. This is my 5th turkey I’ve made with this recipe. I love it! The bird turns out perfect every time. Seasoning is fantastic.

  52. I’m determined to cook a delicious turkey this year for Thanksgiving. Let’s just say my family has been less than pleased the last few years. No one likes a dry and tough turkey on turkey day! Wish me luck!

  53. What if my turkey says it’s “fully-cooked” and just has oven reheating instructions?

    *Also, I used this recipe on a raw turkey a couple of years ago, and it was PERFECT! So, thank you!

  54. I have used this recipe for several years and it is absolutely the best way to cook a turkey! Thank you for the recipe!!

    1. Hi! You can, but it’s not necessary. It will take 15-20 minutes or so to prep the bird with butter and seasonings, so be sure to factor that in to your time.

  55. Hi! Just to clarify if I’m cooking a 24lb turkey I’m adding an ADDITIONAL 3hrs at 325°? 12lbs extra x 15m per lb so 180m extra. 5hrs total at 325° + 1hr at 400°?

    Just want to make sure! I’ve made this recipe 3x before with much smaller birds 🙂

    1. Yes you can do it just in a regular pan. Keep in mind that the bird with be sitting in its juices instead of raised above them, which could cause the bottom skin to be a little soggy. But it will fine.

      1. Hi! I have rolled up pieces of heavy duty foil for the turkey to sit on in a regular roaster. Success every time! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  56. Do you havepicture of turkey in pan with foil on top. I know you say to cover breasts only, but wanted a visual if you have one. Thank you!

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t. It’s really easy!Just place the sheet of foil on top and tuck it right in the crease where the drumstick meets the breast. Good luck!

  57. I made my first turkey ever last year. This recipe was amazing!! It was so easy and got rave reviews. Many people came up to me after dinner even “turkey haters” to say it was the best they ever had. It was moist and flavorful. I followed the gravy recipe too and it was delicious, perfectly seasoned. This is now my go to recipe for Thanksgiving.

  58. I’m a little confused on the cooking times. It says 15 minutes @ 325 per lbs of turkey. So a 10 lbs turkey would be 150 minutes (15×10) or 2 hrs and 30 mins at @325 but you listed that a ten lbs turkey should be 1 hr and 30 min and then an additional hour @ 400. So is the cooking time (15 min/lbs) for the total cooking time or is it just for the time @ 325?

    Thanks, this is my first year doing the turkey and I don’t want to mess it up 🙂

    1. I’m sorry that was confusing. The line before that statement clarifies that it’s based on a 12 pound bird. So that is your base. Anything abover 12 pounds you’ll add 15 minutes per pound. So for your 10 pound bird, you’ll actually subtract 15 minutes per pound. Hope that helps!

  59. Ive cooked turkeys a lot of ways but this is the best recipe! Thank you! I have a question though. Should I leave my prepped uncooked turkey uncovered in the fridge 8-10 hours before cooking? I’ve heard by doing this it will give an extra crispy exterior when cooking .

    1. I usually leave mine open white it’s defrosting, so it will dry out the skin. You could prep it the night before and that could help get the skin even crispier. However, with this method alone you’ll get crispy skin.

  60. I purchased my Empire 14.6 lb. turkey a week ago and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. The turkey is still very cold. What are my options for still being able to use it for Thanksgiving?

  61. sorry if you have already answered these questions! What salt do you recommend (kosher, table, sea?) and would you recommend salted or unsalted butter? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Caitlin, I recommend using whatever salt you have on hand. I personally always use kosher salt. Same with butter – whatever you have on hand. I usually just use regular salted butter.

  62. I revisit this post every single Thanksgiving. If you ever delete it, I’m screwed! 😀 Seriously though, thank you for helping me win the holidays every year.

    1. My turkey is 21.5 lbs. Would you suggest doubling the butter, spices, onions and garlic? Also, how long would I cook at 325 degrees & how long would you still just do 1 hour at 400 degrees?

      1. Karen, you probably wouldn’t need to double the ingredients. They just cover the surface area, but maybe 50% more. You can follow the instructions and do the calculations for the size bird you have. And yes, one hour at 400 no matter the weight.

  63. I made this turkey recipe back in 2017 I believe and it was awesome! Few questions in preparation of this year’s thanksgiving:

    How much flavor will be altered if I don’t used garlic cloves? What do you suggest instead of any garlic ingredient?

    If I’m looking to cook a 15-17 pound bird, how much do I alter the ingredients?

    Thank you for posting the varying cooking times as well

    1. Hi Karissa, You can leave out the garlic. It won’t alter the flavor much. For a 15-17 pound bird, you can add a little more seaoning and butter if you want, but really you can follow the instructions and it will be fine. Enjoy!

  64. This is my 2nd year using the recipe. This by far is the best recipe I have ever tried. However I am making a much bigger turkey this year and nervous that it will not turn out the same as past years. I have a 17 pound turkey this year. How long do you suggest I cook it for?

  65. Hi! I made this recipe with a 10 pound turkey last year and loved it! This year I will be making a 4 pound turkey. What would the time for a 4 pound turkey be?

    1. Hi Carrie, do you have a turkey breast or a whole turkey? 4 pounds is pretty small, so I wonder if you are talking about a bone-in breast.

  66. Hello,

    I am brining my turkey this year. How would you adjust this recipe to account for brining? Perhaps not at all, but let me know. Thank you! Looks delicious.

    1. Hi Melissa, there is no need for brining your turkey with this recipe. It’s incredibly tender and juicy just as it is. If you decide to brine, you will probably want to reduce the salt in the rub.

  67. Great looking recipe! Excited to give it a try this year. I’ve never made a turkey but I’ve seen a lot of sites that recommend trussing. Do you recommend it with this recipe?

  68. This is the best turkey I have ever made the breast was juicy and not dry and it was amazing. I do have to say that I didn’t do 400 for a full hour because my oven runs hot and I tempted the turkey in between 325 and 400 to see where it was at. But oh my goodness best turkey recipe ever. Thank you

    1. If your making a smaller turkey, you can use a regular roasting pan without a rack (I think that’s what you’re talking about). Keep in mind that it will sit in the juices so the bottom will be a little soggy and not crispy.

    2. This might be a silly question…bear with me this is my first turkey…but do I put a lid on the pan? I saw I put tin foil on the breast but wasn’t sure about the lid. I have a roasting pan with a rack.

      1. Hi, no silly questions! You do not need to put a lid over the turkey when roasting in the oven. You cover the breast with foil to keep it from overcooking. You’ll be fine!

  69. Thanks! I’m making this soon. It looks so easy. Crispy skin is so yummy….some people won’t try it, they don’t know what they’re missing.

  70. Best turkey recipe, hands down. I’ve used this recipe for the past 2 thanksgivings and anytime I just want to make a turkey (I usually pick up an extra to freeze when they’re on sale). One thanksgiving, my aunt couldn’t make the smoked turkey she normally does for our big family gathering. I whipped this baby up easily and now my aunt officially designated me the official turkey-maker after her 20+ years of being the turkey-maker!

  71. This was hands down the best turkey I have ever made. I made it for Christmas and wow! It was so juicy and flavourful. It was so easy and straight forward. It will now be my go to recipe for making a turkey.

  72. Hi Kristen,
    I’m planning on making this for Christmas and am wondering, when you put it in the oven, do you cover your roasting pan with a lid? Or just the foil? Or both? ?‍♀️

  73. I made my first turkey for our family three years ago. So this was the third year in a row that I’ve used this article. It is tried and true! I’ve made some modifications to the dry brine and aromatics. I also use a compound butter that goes on top of the turkey in addition to placing it under the skin. This year was the best turkey yet. There is one thing that I can’t figure out. I’ve followed the oven instruction to the letter. Over the 3 turkeys I’ve made, when I take the turkey out and check the thigh, it’s always ~190 degrees! What I don’t know, is when to check the temp and hot to adjust the time. I would think that you’d want the turkey at 400 for the last full hour to make sure the skin gets crispy. Now despite that higher than desired temp, the turkey has never been dry. In fact, it’s always juicy and flavorful inside with a crispy skin. So I guess I’d just like to know when to check the temp of the bird and how to adjust. Thanks for this delicious tutorials and recipe!

    1. Hi Brett, I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! As long as the breast reaches 165, you’re good. The dark meat is often a higher temp, and that’s ok because it stays juicy.

  74. I’m so thankful that I found this recipe! This was the first time that I had to make a turkey and I’m beyond proud to say that it was perfect! Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Pamela, I don’t mention basting in this post, other than that’s a method I used to use. There is no need to baste this turkey.

  75. Hi Kristen…just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe. My husband and I usually get to enjoy our turkey day in Florida with family (we live in New York) Due to covid we spent turkey day at home with family and I hosted dinner. Followed your recipe and our turkey was AMAZING!! So very moist! Your tips, techniques and all the info was extremely helpful. If we cant go to Florida next year, this will definitely be my go to turkey recipe!?

  76. This was the by far the best recipe I have ever used in cooking a turkey. It was moist on the inside and delicious all around. Well never cook a turkey any other way!

  77. This was the best Turkey, and I make a great Turkey to begin with! Making it this way forevermore.

    Now I would love to try your roast chicken recipe! Do you have one? Thanks for this recipe and possible for a chicken one as well!

  78. We made this Turkey for this Thanksgiving. It was so juicy , tender and tasty. And it was easy too. I would definitely make it again.

  79. Thank you, Kristin! Best turkey I have ever made! Juicy white meat, crisp skin, and delicious gravy! 40 years later and I finally and I finally found the perfect recipe!

    1. The recipe is for a 12 pound turkey. The chart offered in the notes gives you the formula for a larger or smaller bird.

  80. Last minute shopper here and I wasn’t able to get sage or thyme. I do have the rest of the seasonings I hand as well as poultry seasoning. Any suggestions on how to switch up the portions?

    1. The herbs mentioned are similar to what’s in poultry seasoning. So you’d be fine to just use that in place of the sage, and thyme. Poultry seasoning probably has pepper in it too.

  81. Best recipe all around. Several people have said, “you’re doing the hard part of the meal”. Its really pretty simple with this recipe. This will be my 3rd year. I’ve had my nephews say its the best turkey they’ve had. Love it. Great for ADD moms 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  82. So ,you should do the butter and seasoning step then let your turkey get close to room temperature before putting it in the oven?

    1. I’m not sure I understand your question. The turkey won’t come to room temperature just during the 20 minutes it takes to prep it. And you won’t be letting it sit out at all, it goes straight in the oven.

      1. This is what I was referring to.

        Once your turkey is fully defrosted, you can prep it for roasting using the recipe below. Allow the bird to come close to room temperature once prepped to help it to cook evenly.

        1. Oh yes I see; this pretty much happens while you’re prepping it. But yes you can let it sit for a little bit longer.

    1. A pan and rack is best; however, some of the alternatives I’ve seen are using a deep baking dish and placing balls of foil, or using the ceramic insert of a slow cooker (just the insert AND only if the instructions for your device permit oven cooking). As a last resort, you can roast without a rack, the bottom would be sitting in some of the liquid but it will still cook fine.

    1. I’m thinking of stuffing my bird with dressing. Should I plan on adding additional time for cooking. About how long would I add. Can’t wait to try your recipe

      1. If you want to stuff your turkey, make sure the stuffing is completely cooled to room temperature or chilled so that the bird won’t sit at an unsafe temperature for too long. Remember that the stuffing needs to be cooked to 165 degrees F because it absorbs the drippings from the turkey.

        Check out my homemade stuffing!

  83. This will be my first time cooking a turkey this year. Quick question, If I only have salted butter should I decrease the amount of salt in the dry rub?

    1. Honestly it depends how salty your butter is. I’ve used salted butter and not changed the seasonings, but I like things a little saltier than the average person. It would be a personal preference.

  84. Hello. I was wondering if you HAD to use the mustard in the seasoning. If I omit it will it change the flavor of the turkey much? I’ve never used that before on turkey. Thank you.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I will definitely do it your way. The reviews were great so I can’t wait to try this! Happy Thanksgiving!

  85. Hi there! I am looking to make this recipe for a 12lb turkey, but was intending to use an electric roaster. Are there any adjusted cooking times for that?

    1. Hi Brittany, an electric roaster won’t give you the crispy skin, so you really should just use the times your roaster calls for.

      1. Hi! For the foil, would I put it on the top only or the bottom and top. And by pepper I’m guessing you mean black pepper right? Thank you!

  86. This will be my second year making this turkey. Follow the recipe to a T and you will get the best, most “moistest” bird you’ve ever eaten! 🙂
    Seriously, my entire family raves about the juiciness of the turkey!!

    1. Hi Jessica, I don’t recommend stuffing the turkey with a bread stuffing. That said, the rule of thumb is that the stuffing has to come to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to be considered safe to eat.

  87. HI Kristen! Just wanted to say thank you for this recipe as i’ve used it the last three years and it has turned out awesome each time! Excited to do it again this year with my 22 pounder this year! 🙂

    1. Due to covid we aren’t gathering with family this year. This just got decided today. So last minute first timer here. I have a small family so we just bought a fresh 6lb turkey since we are really only feeding 2 people. What would you suggest for the cool times? Thank you so much!

      1. I would start with about 1.25 hours at 325, then uncover and turn to 400 for about 45 minutes, or until the breast is 165 degrees. Let me know how it turns out,; I haven’t tried this method with a bird that small.

  88. So easy and it simplified roasting a turkey! I made a 20lb turkey, followed the time estimate in the recipe, only basted once when I pulled off the foil to roast it the last hour. 4 hours at 325 and an hour at 400. It came out really dark but was incredibly moist and I had a pan full of drippings! I should have checked the temperature sooner because every oven cooks different and I forgot that basic thing but the recipe is fool proof! Many thx!

    1. That’s an excellent tip Brenda – I had mine come out a little dark the first time cooking it in my new oven. Every oven is different!

  89. I know this is probably a stupid question, and I’m assuming since the ground mustard is part of the dry rub it is the mustard seasoning not the ground mustard in a bottle like regular mustard. Am I right I just wanted to make sure I use the right one.

  90. I’m excited to try this! Is the onion flavor for the turkey strong? My bf does not like onions and I am wondering if you have any recommended substitutions for the onion?

    1. The onion doesn’t flavor the meat like onion, it’s used as an aromatic and doesn’t add an overbearing flavor.

  91. Do you need the foil if you are using the kid to the roasting pan? Also does the cooking time change according to the elevation your at?

    1. Hi Cindy, the lid would keep the skin from browning and crisping. I’ve never used a lid when roasting in the oven. Are you using an electric roaster? No the time won’t change due to elevation.

  92. Hi, I’m excited to try this!! I’m cooking it today in about an hour. We have two thanksgivings a year and I always host one. I’ll return later with my true comments

  93. Hello! I’m excited to try this recipe as it sounds delicious. What are your thoughts on using an oven bag for the turkey?

  94. Hi Kristin! I used this recipe last year to cook my first ever turkey! It was extremely juicy and skin was crispy! The dripping made an incredible gravy. Thank you for this miracle recipe 🙂

    This year I will have a a couple dairy-free family members. Do you know if using margarine or dairy-free butter will have the same effect?

    1. Hi Amy, I haven’t tried with margarine of non dairy butter, I only cook with butter. That said, it probably won’t have quite the same effect. I’d like to think it would be fine but don’t know if it could cause it to burn.

  95. This looks delicious! Can’t wait to use it to make my first turkey ever! My bf doesn’t like onions, will there be a strong onion taste to the turkey or do you have any suggestions for substituting the onion? TIA!

  96. First time doing a turkey. Do I need to baste it? If so how often, and just remove the foil and replace it each time?

    1. Hi Sarah, there is no need to baste this turkey. Follow the recipe as written and it will be fabulously juicy!

  97. I had Thanksgiving a few years ago for the first time and cooked my first turkey using this guide! Everyone was so amazed with how perfect the turkey was. I am having Thanksgiving again this year and using this same guide!

  98. Thank you so much for this wonderful guide! I’ve only made a Turkey once and that was 6 years ago, so I’m a bit nervous about getting it right.

    I’m making a small turkey because it’s only for 2 adults and one child. How long would I cook a 6-8lb turkey for? Also, should I reduce the butter, spices and onion/garlic (for inside the bird) or just leave it the same? Thank you in advance for your help! 🙂

    1. Hi K, I’ve got a graphic in the post that includes time for cooking an 8 pound turkey. You could reduce the amount of butter and seasonings slightly since it’s a smaller surface area.

  99. I used this recipe two years ago and it turned out amazing! Now this year I have a 20 lb turkey, how long should I put it in for?

  100. Can’t wait to try this recipe!! Quick question, I have an 11.15 lb turkey how long would I cook it? Follow the 12lb turkey time?? I don’t want it to be dry.

  101. These are really WONDERFUL instructions for the turkey recipe! They are so clear! I have a question. I have a small oven, unfortunately. After measuring the inside cooking racks, I determined that I can safely use a roasting pan of only 13-inches (about 15-inches including the handles). Is that too small for a 12 pound bird? Or, do I have to look for the smallest turkey on the planet to fit in a 13-inch pan? Or, maybe I can only roast a turkey breast??? I live in a condo and for some reason, they allow only these smaller type ovens as built ins in the wall. CONGRATS ON HAVING SUCH A NICE WEBSITE!!!

    1. Hi Robert, thanks for all the kind words! I wish I had a good answer for you, but since turkey can vary in size you’d have to measure. Definitely it would be a smaller bird, like around 10 pounds, but maybe smaller. A turkey breast would work. It really depends on how many people you need to feed.

      I did find this resource online, that might help.

  102. Found this recipe a little while back and it’s always been a huge success! Truly mouth-watering crowd pleaser. I had always been so anxious about hosting any holiday dinners at my place as I was always so afraid of the whole “getting the Turkey right” pressure and since I found this its been a breeze. Thank you so much for sharing!

  103. I came across your recipe on pinterest. I had all the ingredients and thought let’s give it a try. Best cooking decision ever. The white meat was so tender and juicy. Will definitely be cooking future turkeys this way,

  104. This is my go to recipe. I’ve made a lot of turkeys over the years and this is the only one I’ve consistently used over the past 4 years to glorious applause. ❤️❤️❤️This recipe Thank you

  105. I found your recipe on Pinterest a couple of week ago and made it today for our Christmas turkey. It is by far the best turkey I have ever made, and the gravy is delicious – no additional seasoning required! Thank you so much for your detailed instructions (fool proof!) and for taking the time to share. Merry Christmas!

  106. This is my go to recipe every holiday and always turns out 100% everyone always compliments the flavor and tenderness …. I have brined the turkey over night … this Christmas 2019 the brining left my brain – completely forgetting…. glad to read that this recipe doesn’t require brining …. will keep you posted ?✨?

  107. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was the best turkey I ever made , everyone loved it . Making one for Christmas too

  108. Hi if I would like to stuff dressing in it. How long and what temp I need to cook the turkey? It’s 12 lbs.

    1. I don’t recommend stuffing the turkey because this can cause bacteria to form. The stuffing itself would have to reach the same 165 degree temperature to be considered safe to eat, which could end up overcooking your turkey.

  109. Can this recipe be used for just a Turkey breast? Since there’s only 3 of use I don’t want to have a lot of leftovers that would be thrown away…

  110. Easy way to a delicious moist turkey. Was in a panic because cord to turkey fryer was missing so had to plan to roast at the last minute. Outstanding results.

    1. Hi Tracy, sorry about the missing cord. Glad it all worked out. Thanks for stopping by and leaving some positive feedback.

  111. This was a hit! Everyone raved about how juicy and flavorful the turkey was! I will be using this recipe from now on!

  112. I followed your recipe precisely. The turkey turned out perfect, golden brown, juicy, tender and very flavorful. My family loved it, thank you.

  113. I just did my first turkey ever with this method! We only had 8 people and two of them children, so I went with the 12 lb bird. Followed directions. It was PERFECTLY delicious, flavorful and juicy. Because I was in charge of many other dishes, I did use store-made gravy. But I have saved the drippings from my turkey roasting pan and I’m looking forward to making some amazing soup. Yum yumm and I don’t usually even love turkey. I’m in it for the mashed potatoes and sides. But this turkey was outstanding. It gave me confidence for next year. It was that good.

    1. That’s awesome Angela! We love to hear about first time stories. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave some positive feedback.

  114. This was the best turkey ever! The recipe was spot on with seasoning and time. Turned out moist, so flavorful and golden brown. This will forever be my go to recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

  115. I followed this recipe today and it turned out amazing!! It was my 1st time attempting Thanksgiving dinner and it was a success!!

  116. Last year was the first time I cooked a turkey for my family. I researched tons of recipes and and dozens of do’s and donts. I was overwhelmed. I came across your recipe and thought OMG this is so simple, I have all the ingredients, and I’m all about using aromatic herbs to cook. I tried it and it turned out soooo good. So good that this is the recipe I’m using again this year. It’s in the oven as we speak. Thanks for sharing!

  117. I made this recipe last year and my husband said it was the best/moist turkey he’s ever eaten.

    This year it’s just my small family. What time would you recommend for cooking a 5 lb turkey?

    1. That’s a small turkey! I think you could follow the same method and maybe cook it for 45 minutes at 325 and 45 minutes at 400. But I’ll be honest I haven’t cooked a turkey like this that’s that small, so proceed with caution and keep checking the temp.

  118. This is my third year hosting Thanksgiving and second year using this recipe. Everyone loved it last year! Pretty sure this is my go to recipe from here on out! Thank you!

    1. It will vary depending on your turkey, but yes there are juices. I recommend having some chicken or turkey broth on hand to supplement.

    1. You have two options. Either crumple up some balls of foil for it to sit on or don’t worry about it. It won’t ruin your turkey to not have the rack.

    1. It takes several days to safely defrost your turkey. A 16 pound should defrost in the fridge for about 4 days.

  119. Hi! So I have a roasting pan that you plug in and sits on the counter, will the cooking time vary because of that or stay the same?!? Thank you!!

  120. You’re probably busy like me finishing all of the side dishes! I usually put some sprigs of rosemary and thyme along with onion and citrus in the cavity. will that fight with the rub?

  121. Hi, do I use Convection Roast or regular Roast in my Oven? Also, where should I put the Turkey, lower in the oven or in the middle?
    I loved that reciepe, I’ve done it last year.. yummi!!!

  122. Ok… sorry, I reread and figured-out how to calc my own timing. But am curious about the temp of dark meat. Various sources say cook dark to 170-175.
    How do you manage that when pulling the turkey (breasts) at 165? Does the foil actually do the trick so that the breasts are 165 and the legs are 175?
    If you answer before tomorrow, Thanksgiving, that would be so fabulous. Thank you.!

  123. Hi, I just came across this recipe, and I am for sure going to try it. However, I brined my turkey for the last 24 hours (water/salt/pepper/tarragon). Would I still do the rub or eliminate the rub all together? Not sure how to season it at this point.

    1. Honestly, I’ve never brined a turkey before so I can’t say how that would come out. I would be cautious with the seasonings though.

  124. Thanks for a great recipe. My mother-in-law made the turkey for 25 years. Last year was the 1st time I was in charge of cooking the turkey. I have 5o make 2 20 pound turkeys to feed the 25+ people that come to my house. I used your recipe last year and my turkeys came out perfect. I have to cook them the day before then debone them and reheat in gravey the next day. Everyone loved it. Working on turkey #1 using your recipe again.