Feast and Give Thanks

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Turkey Roasting Made Easy

Lady Stuffing Turkey
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  • If a turkey weighs 12 pounds or less, buy 1 pound per serving. If the bird is more than 12 pounds, buy 3/4 pound per serving.


  • To thaw a whole frozen turkey, place the wrapped frozen bird on a tray in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days (24 hours for every 5 pounds). Or, place in a sink of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes. (Allow 30 minutes per pound.) Do not thaw at room temperature or in warm water.
  • When thawed, remove giblets and neck piece from cavities. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Do not stuff the bird until you're ready to roast.


  • Just before roasting, spoon some stuffing loosely into the neck cavity. Pull neck skin over stuffing; fasten to the back with a short skewer. Loosely spoon stuffing into body cavity; do not pack. Spoon any remaining stuffing into a casserole; cover and chill until baking time. Tuck drumsticks under band of skin that crosses tail (or tie legs with string). Twist wing tips under back.
  • If you prefer not to stuff your turkey, place quartered onions and celery in the body cavity. Pull neck skin to back; fasten with a short skewer. Tuck drumsticks under band of skin that crosses tail. If there isn't a band, tie drumsticks to tail. Twist wing tips under back.

Open Roasting:

  • Place unstuffed or stuffed turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow pan. If desired, brush with cooking oil. Place a meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle so the bulb doesn't touch the bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil, leaving some space between bird and foil. Press foil over drumsticks and neck.
  • Roast in a 325 degree F oven until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F to 185 degrees F; the stuffing should be at least 165 degrees F. When done, the turkey meat should be fork-tender and juices should not run pink when a thigh is pierced with a fork.
  • If desired, baste the bird occasionally. When turkey is two-thirds done, cut skin or string between drumsticks. Remove foil the last 30 to 45 minutes to let the bird brown.
  • Remove roasted turkey from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Download our open-roasting timing guide for roasting a stuffed turkey. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Roasting in a Bag:

  • Shake 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour in a turkey-size oven cooking bag (flour prevents the bag from bursting). Add bird to bag. Place bird, breast side up, in a large 2-inch-deep roasting pan. Close the bag with a nylon tie. With a sharp knife, cut six 1/2-inch slits in the top of the bag to allow steam to escape. Insert a meat thermometer into an inside thigh muscle through a slit in the bag. Roast in a 350 degree F oven until done.

Download our timing guide for roasting in a bag. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)



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