How To Bake A Turkey

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  Posted by Judy - How To Bake A Turkey :
Do I put water in the bottom of my roaster the put the turkey in the water

Guest Says:
I would just leave the bottom of the pan empty (you can throw vegetables all around it or inside it if you want, it will fill up with alot of juice from the turkey once it start baking.  I would also put one of those turkey bags around the turkey and punch a couple holes in the top of the bag and on the side so the juice can fill the pan, that will keep it really moist and make it cook better throughout.

Typically its around 4 hours at 325 degrees for a 20 pound turkey (thawed) if baking with the turkey bag on the turkey, but by far the easiest way is to have one with the thermometer that pops out, then you know for sure the inside is always done.

Guest Says:
Also, make sure when you put it in the oven that the turkey side with the popup thermometer is facing the glass on the oven, that way its easy to check and see when it pops up.

Guest Says:
Dont use a turkey bag if you have one of those turkey pans! You are wasting your money, just get a pan as a good turkey pan will last you a lifetime of cooking!

I highly recommend it. The pan with a lid already keeps all the moisture in. Here is the pan I use, I've used it many times, make sure you get one with handles on the side (critical for easy moving in and yout of overn), big enough to fit any size turkey (also use for duck, ham, goose), and it should also have a higher lid like this one (critical so you have room on top for veggies and other stuff like that).

Guest Says:
I forgot to mention lid "on top" also to make it easy to raise lid and look at turkey thermometer. Most probably come this way, but these are critical advantages and things you will want with turkey pan, and make sure to look at measurements so that it will fit in over (but most are made to fit in standard oven).

Guest Says:
You dont need any water in pan, turkey will have plenty of liquid coming out as you cook. You can then use that for gravy.  Pile in alot of veggies and spices, it will leak into your broth for gravy.

Guest Says:
If you want some ideas for spices to put on top of turkey before cooking, I usually shake on oregano, italian spice, rosemary, tarragon, salt, and pepper.  Spices are also very good for you, no reason not to shake alot of that on as it ends up in the gravy broth.

JM Says:
I bake my turkey for 3 1/2 hours with my oven set at 325 degrees.  How long do you normally bake your turkey?  I'm curious if its beneficial to raise over temperature and cook less hours?

Guest Says:
JM: These are the recommended times on my turkey I just bought.

Oven at 325 degrees:
  Turkey weighs 12 to 16 pounds : bake 3   to 3.5 hours
  Turkey weighs 16 to 20 pounds : bake 3.5 to 4 hours
  Turkey weighs 20 and 24 pounds: bake 4   to 4.5 hours

Some ovens are hotter then others, so maybe add a 1/2 hour to these times. If you are also stuffing your turkey with dressing, then add 1/2 hour to each of the times listed because that adds to it.  Make sure your turkey is thawed out before cooking. You can set in sink full of cold water to speed up the process and change water every half hour (use cold water, not  hot water).

Also, some prefer 350 degrees when baking and lower the time, but it typically comes out juicier if at 325, but it matters also having the lid on it as stated above. If you have the thermometer in the turkey then that will make it much easier to just check after a few hours to see if it popped up yet.

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