Thanksgiving 101: How To Make A Roast Turkey

Posted by Sharon

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Making a traditional oven roasted turkey for Thanksgiving dinner isn’t as hard as your in-laws would have you believe. All you need is a somewhat-savvy skill with time management plus a little bit of prep work. Also, any type of stuffing works with this oven roasted turkey.  You don't even have to use stuffing if you prefer not to, even though the recipe calls for it.  It’s your preference.


  • 1 (18 lb.) whole turkey
  • 5 C of your favorite stuffing
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 qt. turkey stock


Clean the turkey by removing the neck and giblets and rinsing the turkey with cold water. Pat the turkey dry with paper towel inside and outside. Bring the oven temperature up to 325 degrees. Move the rack to the lowest position you can in your oven.

Place a roasting rack into a large roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with your favorite stuffing mixture. Rub the turkey skin with the soft butter, making sure to cover the whole outside of the turkey. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper to taste. Pour 2 C of the turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the turkey breast side up on the rack in the pan. Make a tent out of aluminum foil to completely cover the turkey but not over the roasting pan.

Place the turkey in the oven and allow roasting for 2-1/2 hours, being sure to baste the turkey every 30 minutes with the stock in the roasting pan. If the stock should evaporate, add 2 C to the roasting pan and continue adding as necessary 1 to 2 C at a time. After 2-1/2 hours, remove the aluminum foil and continue roasting for another 1-1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees when inserted into the thigh. Be sure to continue basting every 30 minutes during the last 1-1/2 hour of roasting. Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a large platter for at least 30 minutes before carving. Serves 24.

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