A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe - Allrecipes.com
A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe
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A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey
Take the guesswork out of preparing the perfect roast turkey. See more
  • READY IN 4+ hrs

A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey

Recipe by  

"Simple, perfect roast turkey just like grandma used to make. Seasoned with salt and pepper, and basted with turkey stock, the flavors of the turkey really stand out. Stuff with your favorite dressing."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 24 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    4 hrs

    4 hrs 30 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rack in the lowest position of the oven.
  2. Remove the turkey neck and giblets, rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Loosely fill the body cavity with stuffing. Rub the skin with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey.
  3. Place turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. Remove aluminum foil after 2 1/2 hours. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C), about 4 hours.
  4. Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Easy Cleanup
  • If you make this in a slow cooker, using a slow cooker liner can make cleanup easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 14, 2010

This is the turkey recipe I used when I roasted my first-ever 19lb bird three years ago. It turned out perfectly then and has every year since. My version calls for placing the turkey on a v-shaped rack in the roasting pan. This allows air to circulate under the bird and should address any issues related to the bottom not cooking as thoroughly as the top or being soggy. I have never had to turn the bird over. Other hints: truss the wings under the bird with baking string or wrap in aluminum foil to keep from over-browning. For the rest of the turkey, I place the aluminum foil tightly over the breast-portion only. Then, I remove the foil on the breast 1 hour before the bird is done (my 19lb birds, stuffed, tend to roast in about 5 hours, so I remove at the 4 hour mark). The breast is always beautifully brown and not overdone; very juicy! Baste as directed (every 30 minutes) with turkey or chicken stock. When you check the temperature, be sure you're not hitting the bone; keep it in the fleshy part of the thigh meat. I also check the internal temperature of the stuffing to ensure it's at 160. Standing time is *important.* I rest mine at least 30 minutes, up to 45. It won't get cold--keeps it juicy! I use good quality boxed or homemade chicken stock instead of turkey stock. This is such an easy recipe. You don't need to over-think it or second-guess it. It's worked for me every single time. And...the drippings make delicious pan gravy! Enjoy!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 27, 2006

This was my first attempt at a turkey and I'm sure I must have done something wrong, but I can't figure it out. I had a 16 lb turkey and followed this recipe exactly. I even set a timer to baste every 30 minutes as instructed. The turkey "looked" perfect, like out of a movie or something. However, after 5 1/2 hours of cooking, this turkey was still not totally cooked.

Nov 21, 2006

OH MY GOSH... what a shock to see *my* secret recipe on the internet... lol. I've always done my turkey mostly this way. I also put butter under the skin as some reviewers do... and use chicken broth. Oh!! and big ol chunks of onions and celery around, under and in the bird. But (I don't recommend this method) I put my bird in on 250 degrees late late Wednesday night... don't baste at all, get up early and remove foil, baste REALLY well, turn up the heat to 375 until brown, basting often. Always excellent!! Frees up my oven, we wake up to the smell of *Thanksgiving* and it really sets a great mood for the day. Have done this for years!!

Dec 22, 2003

I used this recipe for our Thanksgiving turkey and my family loved it! I put 1/4 cup of butter between the breast meat and the skin, then after each basting I brushed the entire turkey with melted butter. Not the greatest method for calorie counting, but I've never had a turkey so moist. It was incredible!

Nov 26, 2005

This is a great recipe to follow for a traditional turkey for the holidays. I never used stock in the bottom of the pan before and it added great flavor to the gravy. I have been making turkey for T-day for 27 years now. I suggest the following additions: choose a fresh turkey, rub softened butter under the skin of the turkey breast too, and put the turkey in the oven @ 425 for the first 1/2 to 1 hour (especially if it is right out of the fridge, or plan on adding cooking time).

Nov 20, 2006

I made this turkey last year for my first ever attempt at Thanksgiving. It was so juicy that we barely recognized it as turkey! One tip for those who don't have a roasting rack and want to avoid the sogginess that is mentioned, place the turkey on top of whole carrots. The carrots will keep the turkey above the broth, and this way you can use a disposable aluminum roaster. I followed the recipie to a T last year, but this year I'm going to add some citrus in the cavity and some lemon zest and parsely to the butter. This is a great recipie as is, but it is so simple that its easy to add your own flair. The broth in the bottom is really what gets the amazing results!

Nov 22, 2010

This is a great method. As stated in other reviews, definitely cover only the breast portion of the Turkey, and remove an hour before cooking time is finished. One helpful tip is to be sure loosen the skin from the breast, and actually place mayonnaise inside. I found that adding your seasonings and herbs, like sage, paprika, and garlic to mayo helps them to "stick" to the bird better while cooking - it creates such beautiful, brown skin, also. I don't like to have to keep opening my oven and basting a turkey. Every time you open your oven, you can lose up to 20 degrees of heat! To get around this, I peel, core, and slice 1 apple (any variety that I have lying around) and slide the slices under the skin as well. The sweetness of the apple, as it roasts under the skin, handsomely offsets the saltiness, keeps the breast moist, and basting at a minimum. I still baste once or twice, with the drippings that accumulate in the roasting pan, but not nearly as often as I did in previous years. My turkey was excellent, and the gravy was wonderful. Also, If you don't want to stuff the turkey with stuffing, place it in a separate pan to cook, and use turkey stock to moisten. That way, you can fill your cavity with quartered onions, more sliced apples, and celery, adding additional moisture inside, and enhancing the drippings and flavor outside. Hope this helps!

May 08, 2004

Made this last night. Make sure that you put a bit of butter between the skin and the meat...like another reviewer suggested, and don't forget to baste the turkey. It turned out wonderful and so moist. This is definatly a great basic and easy turkey recipe. Thanks for the post.


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  • Calories
  • 663 kcal
  • 33%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 13.7 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • 211 mg
  • 70%
  • Fat
  • 33.8 g
  • 52%
  • Fiber
  • 0.9 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 72.2 g
  • 144%
  • Sodium
  • 710 mg
  • 28%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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