The Best Ugly Turkey Recipe -
The Best Ugly Turkey Recipe
  • READY IN 4 hr

The Best Ugly Turkey

Recipe by  

"This is by far the easiest best tasting Turkey you will ever make. If you mess this up I would love to find out how."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 12 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs

    4 hrs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub olive oil and salt all over the bird. Place the apple pieces inside of the cavity. Place the turkey breast side down in a large roasting pan.
  2. Roast for 3 hours in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and carefully turn the bird so the breast side is facing up. Return to the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh has reached 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Allow the turkey to rest for about 30 minutes before carving.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Learn more about how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving in our How to Cook a Turkey article!
  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 31, 2010

I discovered this "trick" about 7 years ago and will never go back! It is the juiciest and best tasting bird you will ever have. Not to mention the easiest. No laboring over a hot oven basting the turkey over and over again. If I am not hosting, I am a bit pushy and insist on the host doing it this way. I have people calling me asking how they can get their turkey so moist.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 10, 2012

It does get "ugly" from being turned over, but it also is quite good. Putting fruit in chicken, turkey is always good. I used 2T kosher salt, 1T freshly ground black pepper, 1T poultry seasoning & 1/2T sage. Put 1T in & the rest on.


33 Ratings

Nov 22, 2008

I am rating this for the method of baking breast side down. I have my own method of seasoning that I use, so I can't rate this on taste. I only cook "breast side down" for an hour to hour and a half, as it keeps the breast looking nicer. I also put my seasonings in butter and place pieces of the seasoned butter on top of my stuffing, so when it's upside down, it's melting into the meat and my turkey always turns out moist and very flavorful. I also separate the skin on the breast and rub my butter mixed with seasonings underneath. I never use measurements, but perhaps I will this year, so I can post it on this site.

Aug 07, 2009

I made this for Christmas 08. It was awesome. I added a secret ingrediant (about 10 ounes of caffeine free citris soda (7-up). I also cooked it in a turkey roaster instead of the oven. It was great and the gravy I made from the drippings was incredible!

Nov 18, 2009

My turkey turned out great- very moist and not dry ,especially the breast meat. The real trick is to turn the bird over without tearing up the turkey or burning yourself. Be careful when you do that. I had a 14 lb bird and that is probably the largest I would do this way.

Sep 24, 2011

I have been roasting my turkeys breast side down for years and it is the BEST way to deliver a very juicy moist bird. I do not tuen it half way through. I promise, you will have a wonderful turkey. Rub with olive oil, season inside and out with salt & pepper and roast at 20 minutes/lb at 325 uncovered till thigh temp reaches 165. (temp will rise to 170 while it stands). Just roast on a bed of carrot, onion, and celery and don't waste your time using a rack. Add 1/2cup water to the bottom of the roasting pan. When the tem hits 165 remove from the oven to a platter, cver with foil and let and stand for 15-20 minutes for the internal juices to redistribute. Remove the veggies from the roasting pan and set aside. Spoon off excess fat and use the pan juices to whisk up a wonderful pan gravy. Enjoy!

Dec 23, 2010

Awesome! This was the first turkey I ever prepared, I had a 9-10 punt bird, and it worked really well and tasted exceptionally good. No additional seasoning, I made it exactly as stated, only that I covered it with a sheet of tin foil for a little while to avoid over-browning. I will be making this again.

Dec 28, 2010

The turkey was beautiful! I'm not sure why people say it looks ugly. It was very moist and flavorful. We did a few things might have helped keep it pretty: 1) We cooked for about 2.5 hrs before flipping 2) Turning was a two person process - one person used the handles of big spoons (inserted into both cavities sort of like a rotisserie) to hold the bird up and the other person flipped it.


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  • Calories
  • 807 kcal
  • 40%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1.6 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 305 mg
  • 102%
  • Fat
  • 45.3 g
  • 70%
  • Fiber
  • 0.3 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 91.5 g
  • 183%
  • Sodium
  • 1454 mg
  • 58%

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

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About the Cook

S Randles
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