Roasted Turkey

Pictured: Served with this terrific Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake, Roasted Turkey is the birdie belle of the ball.

Roasting is the standard, traditional way of preparing the centerpiece of every Thanksgiving dinner.

Baking the prepared bird in the oven offers various benefits. Aside from the lack of specialized equipment that may be needed when brining, smoking and deep frying, the roasted bird can be stuffed prior to baking.

Tips: Allow about 30 minutes cooking time per pound of turkey.

It is easy to overcook a turkey. When the bird reaches 170 degrees, check for doneness. Temperature will sometimes continue to rise even with the oven turned off, so don’t think about turning off the oven after the turkey is at 185 degrees. Consider shutting down oven operations at 170 degrees, keeping an eye on the thermometer to ensure the temperature continues to rise.

Roast Turkey
other spices (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.

Remove giblets from the turkey and rinse the turkey thoroughly. Pat dry with a paper towel. Rub with salt. (If stuffing, do not salt cavity.) Fasten the neck skin to the back with a skewer. Fold wings across back with wing tips touching slightly. Tuck legs uner the band of skin at the tail end of the bird or skewer legs (some birds come with clips which hold the legs in place).

Place breast side up in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil or butter. Do not add water and do not cover.

Place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the bird when it begins to turn golden brown. When the turkey is about 60% done, remove the skewers holding the legs together.

Use the following table as a general guide for cooking times. Regardless of the size of turkey, make sure the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fareheit by taking the temperature with a meat thermometer usually in the thickest part of the thigh or in the breast. If stuffing is in the cavity, make certain the reading there is at least 165 degrees.

(More information regarding turkey safety is coming next!)

Approx. Turkey Weight Time
6-8 pounds 3- 3.5 hours
8-12 pounds 3.5- 4.5 hours
12-16 pounds 4.5- 5.5 hours
16-20 pounds 5.5- 6.5 hours
20-24 pounds 6.5-7 hours

Once the turkey is removed from the oven, let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
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