Holiday Feature


Chapter 6. Roasting a Turkey

Turkey Prep

Earlier cookbooks recommended longer cooking times, but with today's turkeys bred with more white meat, such times will result in dry, overcooked birds. Follow our tips for roasting and checking the temperature to achieve a perfectly cooked bird.


Q: How do I keep the breast meat moist when cooking?

A: The best way is to cook the turkey at a low temperature like 325 degrees F. And to remove it from the oven when just done. While some people feel basting is unnecessary since it doesn't permeate the skin, others recommend basting and these techniques for keeping the bird moist:

Turkey Tip: To prevent the skin from overbrowning, shield the breast with a tented piece of foil, then remove it the last 45-60 minutes of cooking to allow the skin to brown.

Turkey Tip: While the turkey is resting before carving, take this time to make the gravy. By the time the gravy is done, the turkey should be just about ready to serve.

FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook

Preface: Safety Tips Before Cooking

Chapter 1. Buying a Turkey

Chapter 2. Storing an Uncooked Turkey

Chapter 3. Thawing a Frozen Turkey

Chapter 4. Stuffing (or Not Stuffing) a Turkey

Chapter 5. Preparing the Turkey for Roasting

Chapter 6. Roasting the Turkey

Chapter 7. How to Tell When It's Done

Chapter 8. Making the Gravy

Chapter 9. Carving the Bird

Chapter 10. Storing Leftovers & Food Safety After Cooking


FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook
Using a Meat Thermometer


This page modified November 2006