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How to Roast a Turkey - 10 Easy Steps

Updated on October 15, 2014
CrisSp profile image

CrisSp is your Emergency Specialist at 37 thousand feet. Domestic Diva depending on the mood. Surely, wonderwoman consumed by wanderlust!

A grateful heart is a joyful heart.~

Roasting a Turkey
Roasting a Turkey | Source

Getting that magazine cover result~

Impressive! No sweat and nothing fancy here, just a solid very straight forward procedure on how to get that moist and tender roasted turkey. However, unlike regular roasting, I use herb and lemon infused oil to brush the skin resulting into that magazine cover crispy brown skin. I’ve been doing this every year for ThanksGiving and Christmas and my family (and friends) love it.

5 stars for Herb Infused Roasted Turkey


I – For Oil Infusion

  • Few sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 lemon (diced)
  • Gloves garlic
  • Vegetable oil

II – For Stuffing

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 package dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 4 slices toasted white bread – cut into small pieces.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

III – Turkey

  • 12 pounds whole turkey

Directions for oil infusion

1. Prepare oil infusion ahead of time, a day is good or at least 6 hours. Combine all ingredients for oil in a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for several hours. Strain oil and set aside for later use.

Turkey on the process
Turkey on the process | Source
Turkey getting ready
Turkey getting ready | Source

Preparing the turkey~

1. Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry with paper towels, while preheating oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Remove giblets and put separately in a roasting pan.

3. Prepare stuffing and mix in water, according to direction.

4. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Slowly cook and stir the celery and onion until tender.

5. Mix celery, onion, and toasted bread pieces into the stuffing. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Scoop stuffing into the turkey body and neck cavity.

7. Rub the entire skin of the turkey with vegetable oil infused with sprigs of fresh rosemary.

8. Loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil. Place on rack in a large roasting pan.

9. Roast 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F (85 degrees C) and the interior of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F (70 degrees C).

10. To keep the skin brown and crispy, remove foil during the last half hour of cooking.

Let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Turkey roasting chart:

4 to 6
10 - 12 lb (4.5 - 5.5 kg)
3-1/2 - 3-3/4 hours
3 - 3-1/4 hours
8 to 10
12 - 16 lb (5.5 - 7 kg)
3-3/4 - 4 hours
3-1/4 - 3-1/2 hours
12 to 16
16 - 22 lb (7 - 10 kg)
4 - 4-1/2
3-1/2 - 4 hours


Cooking times are for planning purposes only – using a meat thermometer to determine doneness is always recommended.

Quick tips on stuffing the turkey:

  • Never stuff your turkey ahead of time. Stuffing should only be done when the turkey is ready to go into the oven, to avoid giving bacteria the chance to spread out. Remember that bacteria has the ability to produce toxins quickly, which are not destroyed by heat and can make you sick.
  • Don't pack your turkey with stuffing. It should be spooned lightly into the turkey's body cavity and neck cavity.
  • If the stuffing is too tightly packed, the interior of the turkey won't get hot enough. Remember that It must reach 165 degrees F to ensure that its' interior is fully cooked.
  • Also, keep in mind that stuffing does expand as it absorbs moisture from the turkey, so it's best to just lightly fill the turkey for best results.

Turkey Nutrional Fact: (Source: USDA Nutrient Data)

Meat Type
Total Fat (Grams)
Breast with skin
Breast w/o skin
Wing with skin
Leg with skin
Dark meat with skin
Dark meat w/o skin
Skin only
Fat Bastard for roasted turkey
Fat Bastard for roasted turkey | Source

Suggested Wine Pairing:

For poultry, traditionally it should be white. However, no one says we can’t break the tradition. So, why not try out young, cherry-cranberry flavored pinot noir from Oregon or Burgundy. Let breathe in a decanter one hour. Then sniff and sip.

P.S. Actually, even Fat Bastard will do! Just don't start drinking while preparing the turkey. Enjoy!

What to do with turkey left over?

  1. Turkey Soup - sautee' garlic, onion and tomato with little oil, add water and put the left over turkey, including bones to make a broth, add mixed vegetables. Put salt and pepper according to taste for a hearty turkey soup. This can be kept in freezer for a week or maybe more.
  2. Caesar salad - instead of chicken, top your caesar salad with the left over turkey and top with a Caesar dressing. Bacon optional.
  3. Turkey omelet - whip up your omelet with green or red bell pepper, mushrooms and load the middle with turkey. Add some cheese of choice.
  4. Burrito - warm some tortillas and fold up turkey, beans, rice and some cheese. Top with sour cream and salsa.
  5. Stuffed potato - bake a potato, stuff with lots of shredded cheese and turkey. Return to the oven until bubbling.

After Turkey dessert
After Turkey dessert | Source

Copyright@CrisSp~TM /10.2012. Fearless but not Heartless!

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty. May your turkey plum. May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump. May your yams be delicious and your pies take the prize, and may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs!

© 2012 CrisSp


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