Roast Turkey


Here are a few tips on cooking the perfect roast turkey. You can stuff the bird with any type of stuffing, if desired. If you are not going to stuff the bird, fill the cavity with one or two halved onions before trussing the legs.


  • One medium-sized prime turkey
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) butter
  • Stuffing, as per our recipe
  • Cotton butcher twine
  • Aluminum foil
  • Oil and or butter for coating
  • salt

Remove the giblets from the body cavity, being sure to check that none have been packed into the neck cavity as well.

Rinse the interior of the bird with cold running water and drain, then salt the interior generously.

The stuffing is now pushed into the cavity, and extra stuffing can be cradled between the legs as shown in the picture. Otherwise place the onions into the cavity.

Truss the legs together, and fold the wings under the back of the bird.

Melt the butter and using a baster with a screw-on injector, squeeze melted butter under the skin around the turkey breast.


Preheat oven to 325°F or 160°C.

Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and rub skin with oil or melted butter.

Use aluminum foil to create a ‘tent’ that seals the roasting pan but does not in any way touch the turkey. (you may have to join additional widths of foil together to do this by folding)

Bake for at least two hours before removing the ‘tent’.

(If necessary shield any exposed stuffing with a piece of foil to prevent over-cooking)

Continue to roast until internal temperature of meat reaches 190°F or 87°C. The centre of the stuffing should reach at least 170°F or 76°C to be safe.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Deglaze pan and use liquid to make gravy with stock.

Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey
Turkey WeightHours
6 to 8 pounds (3 – 3½ kg)3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds (3½ – 5½ kg)3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds (5½ – 7¼ kg)4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds (7¼ – 9 kg)5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds (9 kg – 11 kg)6 to 6-1/2 hours
Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
6 to 8 pounds (3 – 3½ kg)2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds (3½ – 5½ kg)3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds (5½ – 7¼ kg)4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds (7¼ – 9 kg)5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds (9 kg – 11 kg)5-1/2 to 6 hours

Turkey Stock:

Remove giblets and neck from the turkey and put in large stock pot with plenty of water, 2 chopped medium onions, 2 chopped celery stalks, 2 diced carrots, 3 cloves garlic and any other desired vegetables.

Add 3 tsp (15 ml) poultry seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.

This is simmered on low heat for two to three hours, skimming occasionally.

The stock is finally drained and used as the base for your gravy, together with the pan de-glazing and any other seasonings and thickening agent you desire.


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