Baking A Turkey

Thanksgiving has passed, and many people have tried to bake a turkey and failed. This is a sure way of getting it right for next year.

  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels.
  • Place turkey breast side up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep.
  • Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. (Tucking the wings will help stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving) Brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
  • Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer deep into the lower part of the thigh without touching the bone. When the thigh is up to temperature, and if the turkey is stuffed, move the thermometer to the center of the stuffing.
  • Place your turkey in the oven.
  • When the turkey is about ⅔ done, loosely cover the breast with a piece of foil to prevent overcooking.
  • Your turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer is 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast or stuffing.
  • Lift turkey onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

And that is how you bake a turkey. It may take a bit of practice to get it right. So you may be buying multiple turkeys.

There are, however, different ways to cook a turkey.

Deep Fried

  • Cajun Spice Rub

    • 2tablespoons black pepper
    • 1tablespoon ground chipotle chiles or ground red pepper (cayenne)
    • 1tablespoon white pepper
    • 1tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1tablespoon ground nutmeg
    • 1tablespoon salt
  • Cajun Marinade

    • 1/4cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4cup red wine vinegar
    • 1teaspoon sugar
    • 1teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2teaspoon salt
    • 1/4teaspoon ground pepper
  • Turkey

    • 1whole turkey (10 to 12 lb), thawed if frozen
    • 1poultry or meat injector
    • 1turkey deep-fryer, consisting of 40- to 60-quart pot with basket, burner and propane tank
    • 5gallons peanut, canola or safflower oil


  • 1Read the Turkey Deep-Frying Do's and Don'ts (below). In small bowl, mix all spice rub ingredients until blended; set aside. In shallow glass or plastic bowl, mix all marinade ingredients until salt is dissolved; set aside.
  • 2Remove giblets and neck from turkey; rinse turkey well with cold water; pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Take extra care to dry both inside cavities, because water added to hot oil can cause excessive bubbling. To allow for good oil circulation through the cavity, do not tie legs together. Cut off wing tips and tail because they can get caught in the fryer basket. Place turkey in large pan.
  • 3Rub inside and outside of turkey with spice rub. Inject marinade into turkey, following directions that came with injector. Cover turkey in pan; place in refrigerator at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
  • 4Place outdoor gas burner on level dirt or grassy area. Add oil to cooking pot until about 2/3 full. Clip deep-fry thermometer to edge of pot. At medium-high setting, heat oil to 375°F. (May take 20 to 40 minutes depending on outside temperature, wind and weather conditions.) Place turkey, neck end down, on basket or rack. When deep-fry thermometer reaches 375°F, slowly lower turkey into hot oil. Level of oil will rise due to frothing caused by moisture from turkey but will stabilize in about 1 minute.
  • 5Immediately check oil temperature; increase flame so oil temperature is maintained at 350°F. If temperature drops to 340°F or below, oil will begin to seep into turkey.
  • 6Fry turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound, or about 35 to 42 minutes for 10- to 12-pound turkey. Stay with fryer at all times because heat may need to be regulated throughout frying.
  • 7At minimum frying time, carefully remove turkey to check for doneness. A meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast should read 170°F. If inserted into thigh, it should read 180°F. If necessary, return turkey to oil and continue cooking. When turkey is done, let drain a few minutes.
  • 8Remove turkey from rack; place on serving platter. Cover with foil; let stand 20 minutes for easier carving.Turkey Deep-Frying Do's and Don'ts We want your turkey-frying experience to be successful, especially if it's your first time, so we’ve gathered these important reminders. Please take a moment to read them before getting ready for a great-tasting feastDo's Follow the use-and-care directions for your deep-fryer when deep-frying turkey, and review all safety tips.Place the fryer on a level dirt or grassy area away from the house or garage. Never fry a turkey indoors, including in a garage or any other structure attached to a building.Use only oils with high smoke points, such as peanut, canola or safflower oil.Wear old shoes that you can slip out of easily and long pants just in case you do spill some oil on you.Immediately wash hands, utensils, equipment and surfaces that have come in contact with the raw turkey.Have a fire extinguisher nearby for added safety.Serve the turkey right after cooking, and store leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking.Allow the oil to cool completely before disposing of it or storing it. Don'ts Never fry on wooden decks or other structures that could catch fire, and don’t fry on concrete, which could be stained by the oil.Never leave the hot oil unattended, and do not allow children or pets near the cooking area.

If interested in learning more ways to cook a turkey, got to

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