Heat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse bird in cold water. Drain and pat dry.
Fold wings, bringing wing tips to the back of the bird. Fill neck cavity with stuffing, if desired. Stuff body cavity as well, but do not pack stuffing as it will expand as it cooks. If you do not wish to stuff the bird, rub the inside of the bird with salt. Push drum sticks under a band of skin at the tail.
Place turkey, breast down and allow to bake at least 1/2 of the time. Then, turn the turkey over carefully. Baste with butter. The browning of the bird will take place now so continue to baste with the juices from the roasting pan every 30 minutes.
If you use a meat thermometer, make sure it does not touch the bone. Covering with aluminum foil will prevent excessive browning. Allow the turkey to stand 20-30 minutes to set before carving.
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