To roast a turkey, preheat the oven, pat the turkey dry, and place it in a roasting pan. Roast the turkey according to its weight and whether it is stuffed or unstuffed. Use a meat thermometer to ensure proper heating.
Turkey should roast until it reaches an appropriate temperature on a meat thermometer, which is 180 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh. Follow the steps below for roasting a fresh or frozen turkey.
- Prepare the bird for roasting
- Place the pan in the oven
- Roast for the appropriate amount of time
- Remove the turkey and allow to rest
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Prepare the bird by draining its juices in the sink, and then pat the turkey dry with a clean paper towel. Tuck the wings of the turkey back; this helps to hold the skin on the turkey's neck in position as it roasts and stabilize the turkey when carving. Brush the skin of the turkey with cooking or vegetable oil.
Position the turkey in a shallow roasting pan. The pan should be 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep. Insert a meat thermometer that is safe for use in the oven in the lower part of one of the turkey's thighs. Do not insert the thermometer so far that it hits the bone.
Roast the turkey according to its weight and whether or not it is stuffed or unstuffed. Butterball.com provides a roasting chart on its website, and most turkeys have the same chart imprinted on their outer wrapping. For example, roast an unstuffed 18- to 22-lb. turkey for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
When done, remove the turkey from the oven. Place the turkey on a platter, and serve after letting the meat rest for around 15 minutes.