If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, it’s highly you’re the one responsible for cooking the turkey. But what if you’ve never done this before? Or what if you’ve cooked a turkey on a previous Thanksgiving and it didn’t turn out to your liking? Unless you’re an expert chef, preparing a turkey for an entire family can be quite a stressful undertaking. Fret no more, though. Up next, we’ll walk you through the basics of how to cook a turkey that’ll be so delicious that everyone at your table will be salivating for more.

The process

Although the ingredients for no two turkeys are going to be exactly the same, in all likelihood, a few commonalities exist across almost all turkey recipes. These include aromatics such as carrots, chopped onions, herbs and apples. Don’t hesitate to get a little creative in how you fill your turkey, though. As for cooking prep, we recommend preheating your oven to 325 degrees F, removing the neck and giblets from the turkey’s cavity, and disposing of the liver. Before introducing your aromatics, it’s best to dry the turkey out and then add some salt and pepper both inside and out for seasoning. 

Once you’ve included all the ingredients, put the turkey in a roasting pan and coat it with melted butter. Wrap in foil and roast for around two hours, but if your turkey is over 10 pounds, it might need to cook a little bit longer (around 15 extra minutes per extra pound). Once this phase is complete, you’ll want to remove the foil, add more butter and turn your oven up to 425. Then roast for another hour.

Of course, you can get a lot fancier if you wish, but when all is said and done, your total cooking and prep time should be just over three hours. For a more detailed overview of how to cook a turkey, check out the video below. Or read through this recipe, which is a bit more involved than the one we’ve just described. 

The Wrap-up

Feeling more confident now in your turkey-making abilities? If not, YouTube has plenty of other videos that walk you through the process. The biggest key is to believe in yourself and know that with a little practice, you can likely cook a turkey fit for a king. However, if you feel like you’re just not cut out for this job, ask a family member or friend if they wouldn’t mind taking over turkey-making duties. Or go buy a pre-cooked turkey and save everyone a little stress. 

Ultimately, Thanksgiving is more about being with the ones you love and counting your blessings than what you eat. So keeping it all in perspective will help you not sweat the culinary part so much. Speaking of blessings, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Let us know in the comments section below. We’re thankful to you for being part of Fairway of the Carolinas’ extended family!