What Are Simple Instructions for Baking a Turkey?


Quick Answer

To cook a turkey, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and drain the juices from the turkey before patting it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey breast side up in a 2- to 2.5-inch deep roasting pan.

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Full Answer

Next, pull the turkey's wings back so that the neck skin is held in place; this provides stability both in the pan and when carving. Brushing the turkey with vegetable or cooking oil gives the turkey a golden brown appearance, but it is not necessary, as it does not contribute much to the flavor. Deeply insert a meat thermometer into the lower part of the thigh, but make sure the thermometer does not touch the bone. If the turkey is stuffed, move the thermometer to the center of the stuffing once the thigh is up to temperature.

Place the turkey in the oven, and allow it to cook until it is about two-thirds done. Then, take it out of the oven, and loosely cover the breast and top of the drumsticks with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent overcooking. Place the turkey back in the oven, and allow it to finish cooking. The turkey is finished cooking when the temperature in the thigh is 180 degrees and 165 degrees in the breast or stuffing. Let the turkey stand for 15 minutes before carving.

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