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Cooking a Turkey in Your Oven

Category Cooking Tips
Cooking a turkey can be quite intimidating if it's your first time. It is not as hard as it may seem to cook a turkey yourself. This is a guide about cooking a turkey in your oven.


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By 9 found this helpful
November 9, 2011

My husband never likes turkey, but last year for Christmas the turkey turned out so that everyone thought it was great. It all happened by accident. The electricity was out, so I fired up the wood cook stove. By candle light, we put the turkey in the oven bag. But since it was dark, I didn't notice it was put in upside down. I followed the normal directions with the cooking bag.

When I took the turkey out of the oven (everyone laughed at the fact that it was upside down), it was the moistest turkey ever. So from now on, my turkeys are always upside down! I hope it works for you!

By Beth from Bloomfield, IN

Comment Was this helpful? 9

By 9 found this helpful
October 2, 2014

I still like to put my stuffing directly into the turkey cavity. My mother did it for years and so have I and it's perfectly safe. No one has ever gotten ill from this. However, scooping the stuffing out can be quite messy.


I learned many years ago to wrap the stuffing in a layer or two of cheesecloth and then put it in the bird. When the bird is done, I just pull the cheesecloth out, unwrap it and put the stuffing in a dish. The result is a clean turkey. When all the meat is gone, the turkey is nice and clean to make soup.

Comment Was this helpful? 9

November 21, 2011

My hubby discovered long ago the secret to a tender Thanksgiving turkey: moisture. Don't wait for your Thanksgiving turkey to make its own juices for basting. Give it an extra-moist start by adding your favorite broth or bouillon.

We use at least 32 ounces, but you can use more or less according to your preference. If you're out of broth or bouillon, you can make your own brine with plain table salt and water. Low-salt diet? Leave out the salt and use plain water instead.


Don't forget to keep the lid on your roasting pan or "tent" with aluminum foil until the last half hour of cooking time. If you're not sure how long to roast your bird, the rule of thumb I was taught was 20 minutes of cooking time per pound. A 15-pound turkey, then, would need about five hours in the oven at 350 degrees F. Test for doneness by uncovering and trying to wiggle the drumstick. If it wiggles freely, it's done.

Source: My DH, who's taught me a lot about cooking over the years

By Lelia Jo Cordell from Springfield, OH

Comment Was this helpful? 3

November 12, 2008

One way we have found to decrease the time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and other holidays is to use an alternate source for cooking the main course - turkey, ham, etc.


We use our Weber kettle to cook our turkey each year; it cooks in less time, adds flavor (from charcoal and/or wood chips), and it comes out perfect each time. Plus, that leaves the oven in the house for preparing other dishes. That way we don't have to make things ahead of time and then warm them up while the turkey is being carved. Everything is warm and fresh and ready at the same time.

You can also do this with other large cuts of meat - ham, brisket, etc.

We have used this method as far North as Arkansas; when the weather was bad we just cooked in our carport or covered patio.

Further North or in times of bad weather, you can do what my aunt did every year up in New York state. She had one of the big electric roaster/ovens. If you aren't familiar with them they are are like a separate oven with a lid you remove, instead of a door that you open. Just set the temp and put in whatever you need to bake/roast.

These are often on sale before Christmas and they are really very reasonably priced. I have never been able to find one second hand; the people who buy them NEVER seem to give them up.

But, whichever you choose, this gets the main course out of your primary oven and lets you do everything in less time.

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June 29, 20170 found this helpful

To enjoy especially moist breast meat, you can cook your whole turkey upside down. This is a guide about cook a turkey breast side down.

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