How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey, 5 Foolproof Ways

Turkey thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

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What Temperature Should a Turkey Be Cooked to?

A whole turkey is cooked to a temperature when the inner thigh, wing and breast temperature reaches or exceeds 185F. If a whole turkey has not reached or exceeded this temperature in the center of the thickest part of the thigh, wing and breast after 30 minutes of cooking at 325F, increase to 375F and finish roasting.

If you have a meat thermometer, it will help you know if your turkey is done. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (not touching bone) for an accurate reading. Turkeys are done when their internal temperature reaches or exceeds 185F in the breasts, 180F in the thighs and 170F in the wings.

What Temperature Should a Turkey Be Cooked to

What Is the Best Way to Cook a Turkey?

The best way to cook a turkey is to use a brine, which is a process of submerging the turkey in a seasoned saltwater solution, allowing it to absorb all of the flavors. This helps the meat retain moisture and makes it juicy, flavorful, and tender. It can also serve as a marinade if you allow the turkey to soak in it for at least 24 hours before cooking.

A traditional brine recipe includes water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and garlic cloves. Some cooks add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, while others add citrus fruits like oranges or lemons. You can use a bucket or large cooking pot to make your brine and submerge the turkey in it. The key is to keep it refrigerated for about eight hours.

If you don’t have that much time before cooking your turkey, try using a dry brine instead. A dry brine uses kosher salt mixed with herbs and spices that you rub directly onto the skin of the bird. Then let it sit in the fridge overnight (or up to two days). The salt draws out excess moisture from the skin so that it becomes concentrated and crispy when cooked.

What Is the Best Time to Cook a Turkey?

There are a few different types of turkeys you can buy. There’s the regular ol’ turkey, which is the kind most people think of when they hear “turkey.” Then there’s a turkey that has been smoked, and there’s even a kind of turkey that is cooked in parts. But what is the best time to cook each type of turkey?

The first thing to consider is what type of bird you’re cooking. If it’s a regular turkey, then cook it for about 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s smoked, cook it for about 30 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. And if it’s cooked in parts, cook the breast for about 25 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the legs for about 30 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Does It Take to Cook a Turkey?

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to cook a turkey? I know this is one of the many questions my wife has asked me. However, being a web developer and not a turkey-cooking expert, I usually spend 10 minutes on Google looking for the answer. If you don’t want to do that, and want to find out how long it takes to cook a turkey without having to use Google or Bing, then keep reading.

The average amount of time it takes to cook a whole turkey is 20 minutes per pound. So if you’re cooking a 12-pound bird, the total cooking time would be 240 minutes (20 x 12 = 240).

And here’s a tip for you: set the timer for 15 minutes less than the cooking time if you’re serving dark meat (legs), or 5 minutes less than cooking time if you’re serving white meat.

Roast Turkey with Roasted Cipollini Onions and Sausage

You’ve got a few options when it comes to this recipe. If you’re looking for a beautiful, easy-to-prepare meal, try the roasted turkey breast with cipollini onion gravy, sausage stuffing and pan drippings. You can also opt for the roasted turkey breasts with sausage stuffing if you’re feeling extra indulgent or just want to skip the gravy altogether. Either way, we promise that your guests are going to be delighted by this stunningly beautiful holiday meal!

Roast Turkey with Roasted Cipollini Onions and Sausage

Roast Turkey with Bacon-Parmesan Crust

Combining a number of tricks from numerous recipes, I’ve finally perfected my take on the classic roasted turkey. Thanks to its crisp yet toothsome bacon-Parmesan shell and simple yet flavorful recipe, this turkey will be an instant hit among family and friends.

To prepare the turkey for roasting, place it breast-side down on a cutting board and remove the backbone with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Tuck the wings behind the turkey’s back and flip the bird so that it is breast-side up. Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast meat, then carefully tuck thin slices of butter between the skin and meat at several points around each breast half. Season both sides of the turkey liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

To roast, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Place the turkey breast-side up in a greased roasting pan along with 2 cups of chicken broth. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour.

While the turkey roasts, make your bacon-parmesan topping by combining some crumbled bacon bits with grated Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Remove the foil from your turkey and brush it liberally with melted.

Thanksgiving Gifts That Will Impress Your Loved Ones


Even if you’ve cooked a turkey before, there’s always room for new knowledge. Not only will the above tips help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible (and minimizes stress), it’ll ensure that your finished product is great, too. From brining to temperature control, using these tips will take you from a raw turkey to an amazing one in no time.

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