Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Easiest Roast Turkey

I've received more rave reviews after sharing this recipe than any others. Everyone loves to have a simple fool-proof method to roast turkey! I already wrote about why I think turkey is a good deal here. If you found a good price on turkey and are wondering what to do with it - try this method!

This isn't an original recipe. Years ago, my mom found this in one of Emilee Barnes' books. It is so easy to have a moist turkey with this slow cook method! My husband hated white meat until I used this method. If you wish for your turkey skin to be nicely browned, do not cover the turkey. I usually cover the pan because I think I get more broth when covered. In fact, I usually get so much broth that I need to get some broth out with my baster mid-way through the roasting time so that it doesn't spill out over into the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the gibblets. (They will be inside the cavity somewhere in a white bag.)
Wash turkey well, dry turkey with paper towels. Salt the cavity.
Rub outside of turkey with olive oil.
Stick meat thermometer into the turkey. (I skip this.)
Place breast down on a rack in your large roaster. (I don't have a rack, and it works fine.)
Roast one hour at 350 degrees to destroy surface bacteria.
Adjust heat to 180 to 200 degrees for a turkey of any size. Roast one hour per pound.
Once the turkey is done, it will not overcook. You can leave it in the oven for an additional 3 to 6 hours and it will not overcook.

Just a tip: if you have a newer oven, if may have a safety mechanism that will turn off the oven automatically after twelve hours. Since for me, this is usually in the middle of the night, before I go to bed, I turn off my oven, then quickly turn it on again. Then I don't have any surprises in the morning!

I usually get a very large turkey (over 20 pounds) because I like to have lots of leftovers. I was told that turkeys over 20 pound have a greater to meat to bone ratio. I'll chop up the cooked meat, put it in pints and use it for any recipe calling for cooked chopped chicken. A great time saver! But this size turkey can be a real pain to thaw! I can barely fit it into my fridge! Just sitting the turkey on your counter to thaw isn't a good idea for food safety. I place the turkey in a large ice chest, and fill with cold water. The turkey will thaw faster if the water is changed often. I sit in on the counter next to my large laundry sink. It is rather easy to pull the plug on the ice chest, drain out the water, and then refill several times until it is completely thawed.

A friend told me that she used a large electric roaster for her turkey. No cluttering up your oven for those long hours! I found this to work well (with an electric roaster that this same friend found for me at a yard sale). In the summer I could place the electric roaster in the basement and keep the heat out of the kitchen.

Hope you give this method a try!


  1. do you add any water to your pan while roasting the turkey? or is the broth just juices from the turkey?

  2. Carolyn -
    I don't add any water to the roasting pan. It is always amazing to me that broth just appears!

    Hope to see you at the Christmas reunion in a couple weeks! I still haven't found the time to put together the bag I've been dreaming of - but I'm sure a visit with you again will have me itching to start!

  3. Great information. I have a Nesco which is resourceful roaster. It's good for you. I used it several times, works great. I make soups, stews and many more... Thanks.

    Electric Roaster Oven

  4. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for me one of these roasters at garage sales or thrift stores. I'd love to have one of these to save heating up my house in the summer time. Never thought about using something like this. I try to not turn my oven on unless it's at night in the summer because it just keeps the house too hot. Thank you for the recipes and ideas!!!!

  5. I have a turkey roaster too. I find that the turkey is more steamed than roasted and the skin doesn't get crispy -- a must for my husband.

  6. Thank you for this. Exactly what I was looking for. Lucky and wise woman for your life style. I long for it.

  7. So nice you let these past blogs up Gina. Rosy had me print off directions from this one from back in 2009:-) the blessings are ongoing . Thanks so much for all your sharing efforts. 11/21/17

  8. Thank you for sharing this recipe for Easy Roast Turkey! I have also done this same method for many years and it always yields a beautiful, moist and delicious bird. I don't completely cover mine tho I make a "tent" that I attach to the long sides of my roasting pan so that it still gets some browning without getting too brown. I also don't add water I rub the turkey down with lots of butter, then add one stick of butter plus seasoning to the turkey itself as well as throwing some in the bottom of the pan. It always tastes amazing and everyone always raves about how moist it is including the white meat! Thank you again for sharing all these great methods and recipes! Love your site!

  9. Hi Gina
    i found your turkey recipe - wanted to confirm the cooking time of 1 hour per pound - so you would cook a 24 pound turkey for 24 hours? i am so impressed with you and your site - pray the best for your family

    1. You got it! Though it will be done before 24 hours, it will not overcook if you have it hours longer at that low heat.

  10. Hi Gina
    Just wanted to let you and others know the turkey was sooo awesome!! The white breast meat was wonderfully moist and the dark meat there are no words.... The turkey was 24 pounds and when done no carving was done it simply fell off the bones. I cooked it in a covered pan as that helps keep it moist -
    i had digital thermometer with several probes to monitor the process found cooking oven temp of 200 was 175-178 inside the pan - worked out perfect. My prayers and best wishes to you and your family, thank you!!

  11. I know I tried this recipe before and I came looking for it again. I have a turkey that a rubbed with spices yesterday that's going in the oven at noon today. Many Thanks for this recipe! Have a blessed Holiday!


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