How To Cook the Perfect Turkey

the main event final

The Main Event: Turkey

Some of my earliest memories of Thanksgiving include talk of my father or grandfather waking at some unfathomable hour of the morning to put in a 30 pound turkey. We weren’t anticipating 30 plus people to attend so we went with a 14 pound turkey and more modern cooking style. Hot and fast. This will help keep your turkey moist-especially after the 16 hour turkey brine we had it in.

the main event ingredients


  • turkey (ours was a little over 14 pounds, you’ll want to select yours based off of how many guests you’ll have and the leftovers you might want).
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 large honey crisp apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 onion
  • large bunch of fresh thyme
  • sea salt
  • a couple sets of disposable rubber cloves
  • tin foil

Directions: It is my preference to wear disposable rubber gloves whenever handling raw meat, especially for this big project! I changed them out whenever needing to go from handling the turkey to handling utensils, dishes or touching the oven. You may opt to brine your turkey for a few hours or up to 2 days ahead of cooking time. This is not necessary, simply a nice step to help retain moisture and infuse great big flavor into the bird. With your turkey fully thawed carefully remove the ‘things’ inside, in most case you will discard them. If brining, you will want to start this process now. If heading to the oven you will now want to place your turkey on your roasting rack and let rest. Preheat to 500 degrees while you prep the fruit and veggies.

the main event process 1

Thoroughly wash your apple, pear and thyme. Cutting into long quarters will help everything best fit inside. Be sure to alternate the placement of the things so you’ll have variation in flavor.

the main event process 3

With the bird stuffed (and still wearing your gloves) rub the entire outside with canola oil. You will now want to take a large piece of tinfoil, create a big triangle and mold it so that it will fit over the breast meat/top of turkey but leave the legs exposed. {See image of turkey with tinfoil. Preforming helps prevent burning yourself with a HOT turkey and roasting pan. Dark meat lovers typically enjoy that meat cooked to 170 degrees where as white meat should be cooked to 165 degrees. This will help even the cooking and help keep moisture in} You will leave the turkey uncovered for the first 30 minutes, so leave this off to the side.

the main event process 4

When everything is set and your oven is ready to go slide the turkey in, feet first. Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cover with your preformed tinfoil. You will want to cook your turkey from here based on its size. Our 14+ pound turkey took about 1 hour and 45 minutes.   Check for your cooking time here: Follow these guidelines for proper handling and food safety:




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  1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful directions for making the perfect turkey with Share It One More Time. Cathy

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