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Perfect Turkey Recipe

Perfect Turkey RecipePerfect Turkey Recipe

Some of my earliest memories of Thanksgiving include talk of my father or grandfather waking at some unfathomable hour of the morning to put in a 30 pound turkey.  We weren’t anticipating 30 plus people to attend so we went with a 14 pound turkey and more modern cooking style.  Hot and fast.  This will help keep your turkey moist-especially after the 16 hour turkey brine we had it in. We hope that you love this Perfect Turkey Recipe.

If you came here looking for the best thanksgiving turkey recipe ever, easy turkey recipes for beginners, gourmet thanksgiving turkey recipes, roast turkey recipe, a stuffed turkey recipe, whole turkey recipes, the best stuffed turkey recipe, slow roasted turkey recipe or even a simple christmas turkey recipe, you have come to the right place.

turkey prep tips  |   turkey recipe leftovers

Perfect Turkey Recipe

Perfect Turkey Recipe


  • turkey (ours was a little over 14 pounds, you’ll want to select yours based off of how many guests you’ll have and the leftovers you might want; Plan for 1 pound per person, and up to 2 pounds per person if you like leftovers).
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large honeycrisp apple
  • 2 pears
  • 1 onion
  • large bunch of fresh thyme
  • fresh sage, rough chop
  • sea salt
  • disposable rubber gloves
  • aluminum foil
  • twine
  • large roasting pan

Perfect Turkey Recipe

Perfect Turkey Recipe

Special Notes

You may opt to brine your turkey for a few hours or up to 2 days ahead of cooking time.  This is not necessary, simply a nice step to help retain moisture and infuse great big flavor into the bird. Check out this brine recipe from Savory Sweet Life, it is spot on.

It is my preference to wear disposable rubber gloves whenever handling raw meat, especially for this big project!  I changed them out whenever needing to go from handling the turkey to handling utensils, dishes or touching the oven.


  1. With your turkey fully thawed carefully remove the ‘things’ inside, in most case you will discard them.  If brining, you will want to start this process now.  If heading to the oven you will now want to place your turkey on your roasting rack and let rest.  Preheat to 500 degrees while you prep the fruit and veggies.
  2. Thoroughly wash your apple, pear, sage and thyme.  Cutting into long quarters will help everything best fit inside.  Stuff it all in the bird, but be sure to alternate the placement of the things so you’ll have variation in flavor.
  3. With the bird stuffed rub the entire outside with olive oil and butter.  You will now want to take a large piece of aluminum foil, create a big triangle and mold it so that it will fit over the breast meat/top of turkey but leave the legs exposed.  Pre-forming helps prevent burning yourself with a HOT turkey and roasting pan.  Dark meat lovers typically enjoy that meat cooked to 170 degrees where as white meat should be cooked to 165 degrees.  This will help even the cooking and help keep moisture in. You will leave the turkey uncovered for the first 30 minutes, so leave this off to the side.
  4. When everything is set and your oven is ready to go slide the turkey in, feet first.  Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cover with your preformed tinfoil.  You will want to cook your turkey from here based on its size.  Our 14+ pound turkey took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Take off the foil for the last 15 minutes to get the delicious, golden brown turkey skin.

Check for your cooking time here:

Follow these guidelines for proper handling and food safety:

Common Roasting the Perfect Turkey Recipe Questions

how long to roast a turkey?  The general rule for cooking a turkey is 20 minutes per pound, but that can vary depending on whether or not your turkey recipe calls for a stuffed or unstuffed bird.

how often to baste turkey? what do you baste a turkey with? how to keep a turkey from drying out? how to keep turkey breast moist? Basting a turkey is the best thing that you can do for it, but the best turkey baster in the world only works if you use it.  Most say baste every 30 minutes but my husband bastes every 15-20 minutes for a better tasting and more moist bird.

which turkey is best for thanksgiving? We always choose a fresh turkey over a frozen one but honestly both can turn out amazing with this recipe.

how to cook a moist turkey with crispy skin? when to uncover turkey for browning? how to make a golden brown turkey? when to tent a turkey? Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Then cover or tent with foil and cook at 350 degrees for the remaining time depending on weight. Take off the foil for the last 15 minutes to get the delicious, golden brown turkey skin.

how to keep turkey moist after cooking? Once it sets for about 10 minutes, cover your turkey with a kitchen towel or saran wrap to keep it steaming.

After countless years and turkeys roasted, this is the best turkey cooking method for easy turkey recipes and the best way to cook a turkey in the oven and the best turkey recipe in the world roast. We hope that you are inspired by this Perfect Turkey Recipe. Happy cooking!

Perfect Turkey RecipePerfect Turkey Recipe

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