Skip Nav
Cooking Basics
20 Quick Summery Snacks With Only 3 Ingredients
Cooking Basics
How to Make Flower Cupcakes Straight From Magnolia Bakery
10 Dinner Options That Are Totally Worth It to Meal Prep

Thanksgiving Tip: How to Roast a Turkey

Although there are many alternative ways to cook a turkey — grilling, smoking, deep frying, etc. — the most classic way to cook the Thanksgiving bird is in the oven. Here are some tips that will help you roast your turkey:

  • Invest in a roasting thermometer.
  • Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey's thigh. Make sure the thermometer does not touch the turkey's bone because it will throw off your reading.
  • When the thermometer reads 160°F–165°F the bird is properly cooked. Take the turkey out of the oven and let sit, untouched tented with foil, for 20–30 minutes. The turkey will continue to cook while it rests, increasing the temperature to around 180°F.
  • Depending on the shape and size of your bird and its temperature when it enters the oven, the turkey should take anywhere from 1.5–5.5 hours to cook.
  • Follow the recipe you are using to set the oven temperature and determine whether or not you should baste the turkey. Generally turkeys roast at about 300–325°F.

Hope this helps! If you've got another turkey tip, please share your secret with us below!

Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Thank God I have my sister. :)
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
Thanks for the tips. Now, what's better: Breast up or down?
michichan michichan 9 years
Can you marinate a turkey?
SummerBaby SummerBaby 9 years
rednikki rednikki 9 years
Don't forget brining! Brining is the key to a really tender, juicy turkey. It fixes more moisture into the meat - and it's super-easy! I did a page that talks about it over here: I brined my turkey last year, and it made all the difference! It was so much tastier than any turkey I'd ever made, and so juicy I had to check three times to make sure it was really done.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Thank God I have my sister... ;)
paanta paanta 9 years
Another good tip: white meat is done at about 170 and dark at 180. Unfortunately, that means either the white is dried out or the dark isn't cooked long enough. 20 minutes before throwing the bird in, put a bag full of ice on the breast and leave it there until it's time to cook it. The breast should be about 10 degrees colder than the thigh when it's time to take it out.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
My mouth is watering right now! I can't wait for thanksgiving, that turkey looks so good!
Turkey-Cooking Tips
Chelsea Handler Party Tips
How to Save Money on Food at Disney Parks
Latin Pies Recipes
From Our Partners
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds