A roasted turkey is the centerpiece of many a Thanksgiving celebration. But, if you’re like us, you’re nervous that you’ll have problems when it comes to cooking a turkey in the oven. And while most people probably feel ready to ditch the turkey, turkey is often the most requested meal during the holidays. Cooking a holiday turkey is far easier than many people think, and the reward of having your family and friends gathered around the table to enjoy a meal you’ve prepared is priceless.

If you’ve never cooked a turkey before, prepare yourself for a future of delicious home-cooked meals. The process is actually fairly simple, and if you’re cooking a big turkey, it can save you a lot of time and effort. The turkey takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to cook, depending on the size, so plan accordingly. Cooking a turkey in the oven is a foolproof way to ensure the meat comes out moist and flavorful, and it’s surprisingly easy to do.

Prepare The Turkey For Roasting.

Grilling is perfect for those summer meals when you don’t want to heat up the house, but an oven is still an option. Cooking a turkey in the oven is a great way to get the flavor of the grill, even when it’s cold out. Preparing the turkey for roasting is one of the biggest steps when it comes to meat preparation. Before you put the bird in the oven, make sure to remove the giblets (everything inside of the body cavity), rinse the turkey inside and out, and then pat it dry with a clean towel. Next, stuff the cavity with the neck or giblet, lemon, onion, celery, carrots, rosemary, and thyme. Place the turkey on a roasting pan (or use a large stock pot) and lightly cover with aluminum foil.

Preheat The Oven To 450°F

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roast turkey for 2 to 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Whether you’re cooking a turkey or chicken, preheat the oven to 450°F. For turkeys, this keeps the bird from drying out while it cooks. For chicken, preheating the oven to 450°F ensures even cooking from end to end.

Add Liquid To The Roasting Pan

Roast Turkey

Add Liquid To The Roasting Pan

Add water and 4 to 5 tablespoons of vinegar to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil; stir with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to skim the foam from the surface. Brush off any large pieces of foam, then pour the mixture over the roasting rack.

The secret to baking the perfect turkey is to add a lot of liquid to the roasting pan, according to Brynn Barry, author of 100 Ways to Cook a Turkey. “Turkeys cook faster in liquid,” Barry says. “The key is to pour enough into the pan so that the turkey doesn’t boil dry.” To calculate the amount of liquid needed, use the following measurements: 1 cup of water per pound of turkey, plus 3 cups of water for every 10 pounds of turkey. Once you’ve prepped the turkey, add it to the roasting pan and cook according to the directions.

Place The Turkey In The Oven And Turn Down The Heat.

Turkey roasting is a holiday tradition for many families, and while most will swear by the need for a slow-cooker, some prefer the traditional oven method. The oven method uses an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. A deep roasting pan, like the Le Creuset 2.5-Quart French Oven with Cover, is used to make a holiday turkey. A thermometer is used to check the temperature of the turkey. The turkey is placed in the oven and checked after 30 minutes. If the turkey is not fully cooked, then the temperature in the oven is lowered. If the temperature is not reached after 45 minutes, then the turkey is placed in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Baste The Turkey Every 45 Minutes

While a turkey typically cooks for about 2.5 hours, basting it every 45 minutes ensures the juices stay moist and flavorful. Follow these simple steps if you’re planning on cooking a turkey this holiday season.

Rest The Turkey Before Carving

When carving, don’t cut against the grain of the meat. Carving against the grain will produce more strands of sinew and dry out the meat. To prevent this, rest the turkey for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.