Food Tips

How to cook a turkey

How to cook a turkey

Photography: Angus Fergusson

Food Tips

How to cook a turkey

Follow our five fail-proof steps for serving up tasty roast turkey. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned pro, it never hurts to have a quick turkey tutorial.

So it's the holidays, and you're responsible for the main dish. Don't worry; you're only five steps away from serving the perfect bird at your big feast. Read on to learn how to cook a turkey.

Step 1: Thaw it. If using a frozen turkey, thaw in its original plastic wrapper in the fridge. Allow for five hours per pound, or per 500 g.

Quicker method: Cover the turkey with cold water (the sink is a good place for this), and change with fresh cold water every 30 minutes; allow one hour per pound (500 g).

Step 2: Season it. Prepare the turkey by removing giblets and neck. Rinse and wipe the cavity; sprinkle with salt and pepper or stuff lightly using skewers to fasten skin over the cavity.

Step 3: Roast it. Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. Brush with melted butter or oil. Tent loosely with foil. Roast in 325ºF (160ºC) oven for about 20 minutes per pound (500 g) or until juices run clear when turkey is pierced and when thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180ºF (82ºC) for an unstuffed turkey. Stuffed turkey should be cooked to the same temperature, and the stuffing itself should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Remove tent for last hour of roasting. 

Step 4: Cover and leave it. When turkey is done, transfer to warm platter. Tent with foil and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows time for juices at the surface of the bird to distribute evenly throughout the meat.

Step 5: Carve turkey. Eat and enjoy!

 

Looking for more? Take a look at our best tips in these articles:

Show-stopping turkey recipes:

Roast Spatchcock Turkey
Ready in 90 minutes, our beautifully juicy spatchcock turkey will change the way you view holiday dinner forever.

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Cider-Glazed Turkey
The best thing we love about this turkey recipe is the buttery cider glaze.

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Smoked Herbed Brined Turkey
Smoking turkey with applewood chips imparts a subtle sweet flavour that will make your meal extra special. 

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Herb-Rubbed Roast Turkey With Fresh Sage Gravy
Dressed in a classic array of herbs that you'll find in your pantry, this turkey is one that your family can enjoy for years to come.

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Food Tips

How to cook a turkey

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