How to Cook a Turkey – Thanksgiving Recipe

As the leaves turn brilliant shades of red and gold and a crispness fills the air, it’s that wonderful time of year again when we gather with loved ones to give thanks and indulge in a mouthwatering Thanksgiving feast. At the heart of this beloved tradition is the majestic turkey, roasted to golden perfection and exuding the delicious scents of holiday joy. But how to cook a turkey?

In this article, we’re here to guide you through the art of roasting the perfect turkey, from preparation to carving, ensuring that your Thanksgiving table is graced with a centerpiece that’s not only tender and succulent but a source of pride for the chef. 


how to cook a turkey
learn how to cook the best turkey for Thanksgiving

I was scared to cook a turkey. It always looked so hard.  I always remembered people looking like they have run a race after cooking this beast. One year, I jumped in and decided I would figure it out. I hope my post how you cook a turkey will help even the newest cook roast a delicious turkey.

Easy and The Best Turkey Recipe for Thanksgiving



Chicken Broth

1 stick of Butter

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil

Herbs (You can use rosemary) I cheat and use Herbes De Provence (it sounds fancy and tastes great)

Roasting pan


This is how you cook a turkey.



  1. ) If your turkey is frozen you will need to thaw it in the refrigerator DAYS before Thanksgiving. If you have screwed up and didn’t do this you can put it in cold water. You will need to keep changing the water until it is thawed. I hope you didn’t have plans this will take awhile.
  2. ) Then you will need to actually wash the turkey. You just use water. Do NOT use soap.
  3. ) Then you will pat the turkey dry with paper towels. I can imagine my husband grabbing a dish towel so I am being specific.
  4. ) You will take out everything that is in the turkey. It most likely has stuff in there. This stuff will be used in your gravy.
  5. ) You will cute a little piece of skin to allow for room for your hand to go under the skin. You will make a little clip up near the neck area and on the bottom.
  6. ) You will get the butter and divide it in half. You will take on half and place it in a measuring cup for later. The second half you will cut into thin squares.
  7. ) You will place the butter under the skin of the turkey.
  8. ) You will place the turkey in a roaster pan.
  9. ) Brush the out side of the turkey with olive oil
  10. ) Next place salt and pepper on the outside of the turkey just sprinkle a little bit.
  11. ) Then sprinkle the herb of your choice. I used Herbes De Provence
  12. ) Place 1 cup of chicken broth at the bottom of your turkey roasting pan
  13. ) Then place your turkey in a roasting bag ( I do not do this) You do not need one. It makes clean up easier. I just buy a foil roasting pan.
  14. ) Turn your oven to 400 degrees once the oven has reached this temperature I place my turkey in the oven with foil over the turkey for 60 minutes.
  15. ) Turn down the temperature to 325 degree for the remaining cooking time
  16. ) I set my microwave timer to go off every 30 minutes so I can go over and pour the liquid at the bottom of the pan over the turkey. This is called basting.
  17. ) Thirty minutes before the bird should be done I remove the foil.
  18. ) I check the turkey often to see that it reaches 180 degrees. I do so in the fattest part of the bird.
  19. ) I often crisp the skin by melting that final half of the butter and painting it on the skin of the turkey.
  20. ) Then I turn on broil for about 3 minutes while watching carefully to make sure I do not burn the turkey.
  21. ) Place foil lightly over the top and let the turkey rest before serving.

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Fall & Thanksgiving Kitchen Apron 

Carving the Thanksgiving Turkey

Mastering the Art of Carving the Thanksgiving Turkey: Essential Tips and Techniques

Carving the turkey may seem like a daunting task, but with a few key tips and techniques, you can become the hero of your Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s your comprehensive guide to mastering the art of carving the Thanksgiving turkey.

1. Gather Your Tools:

Before you begin carving, ensure you have the right tools at hand. You’ll need a sharp carving knife, a carving fork, a cutting board, a serving platter, and a few small bowls for collecting juices and drippings.

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Electric Knife for Carving

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Carving Knife Set 8″

Turkey Carving Board

Turkey Carving Board


2. Let It Rest:

After removing the turkey from the oven, let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. Resting allows the juices to redistribute, making the turkey easier to carve and keeping the meat moist and flavorful.

3. Position the Turkey:

Place the turkey on a clean, stable surface. Use a towel or kitchen paper to stabilize the bird, preventing it from slipping while you carve.

4. Start with the Drumsticks:

Begin by removing the drumsticks. Hold the drumstick firmly with a carving fork, and use your knife to cut through the joint where the thigh meets the body. The leg and thigh can be served whole or separated, depending on your preference.

5. Carve the Wings:

Next, remove the wings. Pull the wing away from the body and locate the joint. Cut through the joint to separate the wing from the breast.

6. Slice the Breast:

The majority of your turkey carving will involve the breast. To do this, make a long, horizontal cut just above the wing joint along the breastbone. Angle your knife slightly downward as you cut. The goal is to get smooth, even slices of breast meat.

7. Angle Matters:

Always carve your turkey against the grain for the most tender slices. The grain of the meat runs along the length of the turkey. So, when slicing the breast, cut perpendicular to the grain, ensuring each slice is juicy and tender.

8. Collect Juices:

As you carve, keep a small bowl nearby to collect any juices and drippings. These can be used for making gravy or for moistening the carved meat.

9. Plate It Beautifully:

Arrange the carved turkey slices on a serving platter, decorating it with herbs or garnishes for a stunning presentation. The dark and white meat can be separated and arranged in an attractive pattern.

10. Serve with Confidence:

Now that you’ve successfully carved the turkey, serve it to your guests with confidence. Remember, it’s not just about the visual appeal but also the delicious flavor you’ve unlocked through proper carving techniques.

11. Practice Makes Perfect:

Carving a turkey might seem intimidating at first, but like any skill, practice makes perfect. Consider practicing on a smaller chicken or turkey before your big Thanksgiving meal to build confidence and sharpen your skills.

12. Share the Experience:

If you’re carving the turkey at the table, share the experience with your guests. Talk about the process, and explain your technique—it can be a great conversation starter and make your Thanksgiving dinner more engaging and memorable.

With these essential tips and techniques, you’ll confidently carve a succulent and impressive turkey that will be the highlight of your Thanksgiving feast. So, this Thanksgiving, take charge of the carving duties, and relish the joy of sharing a beautifully carved turkey with your loved ones.

Get Ready for Thanksgiving with these Decorations

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VIVOHOME 6ft Height Happy Thanksgiving Inflatable LED Lighted Turkey

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Joiedomi 5 Ft Thanksgiving Inflatable Turkey on Cornucopia

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2 Pack Thanksgiving Decorations Fall Maple Leaf Lights Garland Multicolored, 20Ft 40LED Battery Operated

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Thanksgiving Wooden Block Sign with Led Lights- Gobble til You Wobble Turkey Light up Wood Sign for Table Mantle

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Thanksgiving Turkey Headbands and Glasses Frame (16 Packs)

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