Go Back Email Link
+ servings
How to make the best Turkey dinner
Print Pin
No ratings yet

How To Cook The Perfect Turkey

Preparing a nice, juicy turkey for your family requires very little effort! It's a typical fear among new home cooks, but just because something requires time in the oven doesn't mean it's difficult to prepare! I'll walk you through the process from beginning to end! Come along with me!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Lactose
Keyword how long to cook a 20 lb turkey, how long to cook a 20 pound turkey at 350, How to cook the Perfect Turkey without brining
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Resting time before carving 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 786kcal
Author Christy
Cost $25


  • Aluminum Foil
  • Roasting Pan for the turkey


  • 20 Lb Turkey thawed or fresh
  • 1 Small Onion diced
  • 5 Stalks Stalks Celery washed and trimmed
  • 1 Whole Lemon cut in half
  • 2 Cloves Garlic peeled and whole
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon Butter unsalted
  • 4 slices Bacon optional
  • 8 OZ Turkey Broth chicken broth or water can be substituted
  • 1 small Cheese cloth (optional) soaked in garlic butter and placed over the Turkey breast to keep the meat moist.
  • ¼ Tsp Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning of your choice such as tyme, rosemary, and parsley.


  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • There is no need to wash, as the oven will take care of any bacteria. But remember to remove the giblets and neck from inside the cavity and pat the turkey dry before seasoning.
  • Stuff the turkey with lemon, celery, garlic, onions. You can also drape bacon slices over the top, layed flatly to hold the moisture in while cooking. These things will also add flavor to the drippings that will be produced while cooking to create the perfect gravy after!
    How to the perfect Turkey
  • Season melted butter with fresh minced garlic and herbs such as thyme, rosemary and parsley and brush over the entire Turkey Breast.
  • Use some twine to tie the legs together and seal in the flavor inside
    A turkey with the legs tied in twine
  • Put a little broth or water in the bottom of the pan (about a cup) to keep the turkey from burning to the pan and also adds moisture when sealed tight with foil in the oven.
    How to make a moist turkey in the oven
  • Cooking a turkey in a low oven temperature results in less loss of juices. Adding some broth or water creates a vapor, which gives the meat texture while also keeping it moist.
  • Tightly cover with aluminum foil before placing it in the oven.
  • Baste using the juice drippings from the turkey at least once every hour of cooking and tightly seal with foil before placing it back in the oven.
  • Remove the foil during the last 30 minutes of cooking to gain a nice golden brown color.
  • Once the bird is cooked to a beautiful golden color and reaches 170° in temperature, let the turkey rest for a good half hour before carving.
    The perfect roasted turkey recipe


Save the Turkey Drippings for the best gravy!
An unstuffed turkey usually requires 13 minutes per pound at 350°. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature inserted into the center breast. A turkey is done when a 170° temperature is reached.


Calories: 786kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.1g | Protein: 133.1g | Fat: 23.9g | Saturated Fat: 8.2g | Potassium: 1376mg