How to Cook a Fresh Turkey

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Turkey is not only great at Thanksgiving, but all year round. It's good as a meal when you first cook it and for days after as a leftover. It's good hot or cold; with turkey you just can't go wrong, as long as the bird is cooked well to begin with.

Things You'll Need

  • Turkey
  • Roasting pan
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Oven
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  • Remove any insides that may be stuffed inside the turkey if you bought it fresh. Now give the turkey a quick rinse under the faucet and place it in your roasting pan. Add a little water to the bottom of the roasting pan.

  • Add some spices for flavoring. Coat the turkey with vegetable oil instead of butter under the skin. This keeps the seasoning stuck to the turkey and gives it some more flavor. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper generously all over the top and sides of the turkey.

  • Cover the turkey with the roasting lid or aluminum foil. Cook 15 minutes for each pound. If your turkey is 12 lbs., it will need to cook for thee hours.

  • Once the turkey has cooked for the allotted time, take it out of the oven and check the internal temperature. If the temperature is 160 to 165 degrees in the breast area, then it is done. If not, put the turkey back in to the oven until it reaches this temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you bought the turkey frozen, then set it on a plate in your refrigerator and allow it to thaw out naturally.
  • Add stuffing to the inside of the turkey before cooking instead of making it separately as a side dish.
  • Cooking a turkey at a temperature higher than 325 will cause the turkey to dry out.

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References

  • Photo Credit turkey image by Diane Stamatelatos from Fotolia.com
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