Your Thanksgiving Turkey Game Plan: Cook

How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

This is part two of a three-part series, Your Thanksgiving Turkey Game Plan. Check out part one (Prep) here and part three (Serve) here.

From thawing to brining and roasting to carving, here's your Thanksgiving turkey cheat sheet to help you plan a fret-free holiday feast.

Tools of the trade:

  • Instant-read or meat thermometer
  • Long handle spoon or basting bulb

Roast Your Turkey

How Long to Roast a Turkey

Preheat the oven to 325F. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, which is just above the crease where the thigh meets the breast. When the thermometer registers 165F, the turkey is ready. 

Tip: Make sure the thermometer does not touch any bones and always take the temperature in the same spot.

While the turkey is roasting, spoon juices or use a basting bulb to baste the turkey with drippings from the pan every hour or so. 

When the thermometer reaches 165F, remove from the oven and let rest, tented in foil for 30 to 40 minutes. If the turkey is finished earlier than expected, wrap the turkey and roasting pan in foil, and place a large towel over the roasting pan. This will keep the turkey warm, while also keeping the meat from drying out. Plus, it doesn't use any oven space!

Read part one (Prep) here and three (Serve) here.