14 Comments

  1. Amanda Hayes

    I usually have a beautiful looking turkey until I try to take it out of the roasting pan,then it wants to talk apart. How do I lift it out and keep it looking intact and beautiful?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Amanda! It might help if you can let the turkey rest a little bit before you try to lift it. If you need the roasting pan right away (like, for making gravy!), then you can lift the turkey out using the roasting rack and just set it on a cutting board to rest. You might also look into something like these Turkey Lifters. Anyone else have suggestions?!

  2. Julie

    I bought a butterball turkey breast and wanted to know how long to cook an almost 6 pound bird? I was going to Brine it but I’ve read it’s already been bribed? Can I have some tips or advice? Thanks

    • Carrie Havranek

      Up there in the piece I address this: A good rule of thumb is to estimate it taking about 15 minutes per pound to fully roast the turkey, assuming you’re roasting at 325°F.

      In your case, it will probably be ready in less than a couple hours if you are roasting at that temperature, or faster if you are roasting at a higher temp.

  3. Callen

    I often see the comment to check the temperature of poultry away from the bone. Is that to be sure the bird is not overcooked or is not undercooked? Thanks

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Callen! It’s because the temperature will be slightly higher beside, or touching, the bone since bones conduct heat. Better to aim for the thickest part of the meat for an accurate reading. Make sense?

  4. Lynn

    I don’t think you mentioned the best suggestion I ever got on how to cook a turkey, from Elise on this website – cook it upside down! Granted, it doesn’t come out as beautiful for pictures as the traditional breast-up method, but the breast meat stays much moister.

    • Cathy Tarr

      That’s really hard if it is a 16 to 18 pound turkey. That probably works well on a smaller turkey

      • Lynn

        I’ve never had an issue cooking 20 pound birds. It gets carved in the kitchen, rather than at the table, but we’d do that anyway. And the results are so noticeably better that I now cook all my birds, including chickens, breast down.

  5. Jo Ann

    Is it alright to cook the turkey in a plastic bag?

    • Carrie Havranek

      Well, according to the manufacturer of said plastic bag, it’s fine. And I grew up in the 80s and my mom did it that way sometimes. But I wouldn’t do it that way personally now simply because I think there are better ways and I’m not too psyched about heating plastic in my oven. I think it’s probably a personal preference!

  6. Martin baum

    I just dont understand the issue haven’t you ever done roasted chicken? The turkey its the same principle. I always look at it as if its nothing other than a 13lb chicken. If it shows up frozen it gets tossed in the kitchen sink still in its wrapper the night before it is cooked. I coat the skin with either oil or butter toss the bird in the pan, add the herbs plus two cups water in the pan, bird is on a rack, toss it in the oven for 4.5 hours and perfection every time. To brag I do about sixty birds a year. You ought to try my Peking turkey, its to die for.

    • Emma Christensen

      Thanks for the comment, Martin! Your method sounds great, though we recommend following the USDA guidelines for thawing the turkey in the fridge for a few days rather than thawing it in the sink overnight, which can potentially be a food-safety concern. The peking turkey sounds AMAZING!

    • Lana

      We know a family who all became deathly sick from thawing a turkey in the sink. I would not risk that.

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