I’ve cooked a fair amount of turkeys in my day. On occasion, I’ve been sucked into trying a new “trendy” method. Each time, I’ve been disappointed and go back to my good old trusted, Simple Tips for Cooking a Turkey.
And just so you know, the year I decided to try brining the turkey, I almost burnt my house down. True Story!
More How To Recipes
- How to Make Gravy out of Pan Drippings
- How to Make Your Own Deviled Egg Carrier in Five Minutes
- How to Make Crescent-Shaped Rolls
- How to Make Homemade Italian Salad Dressing Mix
- How to Make Perfect Artisan Bread
- How to Make a Condensed Tomato Soup Substitute
What you will need:
- A roasting pan: A disposable roasting pan will work fine, if you do not have one. It needs to be at least 5 inches deep, so juices won’t spill out. Also, if you use a disposable pan, put it on top of a cookie sheet, so it won’t bend and be hard to get out of the oven once the Turkey is cooked.
- An oven bag: Turkey size.
- A turkey: How big of a bird will you need to feed your crowd? The rule of thumb is one pound per adult and 1/2 pound per child. Also, you need to defrost your turkey, if it is frozen. Depending on its size, you will need to defrost it in the fridge for 2-3 days so it can thaw. If it is still pretty frozen the night before you need to cook it, you can stick it in a sink or large bowl full of cold water.
- An orange and a lemon: You can use two oranges if you don’t have a lemon.
- A little bit of olive oil: Canola oil is fine, if you don’t have olive oil.
- Salt and Pepper
Simple “How to” Tips for Cooking a Turkey
- Prepare oven bag according to directions on back of package. Wait to make slits in the bag until the turkey is all ready to be put in the oven.
- Preheat oven to temperature indicated on Turkey package. Also, note how long your turkey will need to cook. It depends on its weight.
- Unwrap turkey and remove giblets and anything else that may be lodged in it’s cavity. Some turkeys come with a gravy packet.
- Place Turkey in prepared oven bag.
- Squeeze the lemon and orange juice all over turkey and put the squeezed-out halves into the turkey’s cavity. If you prefer to put stuffing in the turkey’s cavity, don’t put the squeezed-out halves in the cavity. Place them in the bag with the turkey.
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over turkey–a Tbsp or two.
- Generously salt and pepper entire turkey. I use about a Tbsp of salt per 6 pounds of turkey and 1/4-1/2 tsp pepper per 6 pounds.
- Close bag. Now here is the secret: Put the turkey breast side down in the roaster pan. (This step puts more juices into the breast meat making it super moist.) Now, if you were hoping to have a perfectly roasted whole turkey to bring out to the table to wow your guests, this is not your method. This method gets the turkey so moist and tender that an attempt to flip it back over will most likely result in it breaking apart. I always pre-cut the meat before putting it on the serving table, so this is never an issue at our house ….and having the tender flavorful turkey is well worth it to me.
- Once bag is closed and Turkey is upside down in the roaster, make the suggested slits in the bag before placing it in the oven.*****NOTE: Cooking turkey breast side down will prevent the pop-up thermometer from being able to pop up. Most turkeys come with one, and it tells you when the turkey is done. You need to follow the suggested cooking time per pound from the turkey oven bag package. I usually do an extra 30 minutes just to be safe.
- When Turkey is done, carefully remove it from the oven and cover it with foil. It will stay nice and warm until you are ready to cut and serve. If you need to get the drippings out of the bag and the roaster pan for gravy, just do it carefully and quickly. Then cover the turkey back up until you are ready to cut and serve.
I love this method because of the tasty results but also because of how low maintenance it is. ‘Cause seriously, who has time to baste when there are pies to be made? 🙂
I hope you all have a great and super delicious Thanksgiving!