Roasting the Perfect Turkey

Roasting Times & Temperatures


(For an unstuffed bird)

Your turkey will be done when the thermometer reaches 160°F in the white meat.

Begin checking one hour before the end of the recommended roasting time to check readiness.  We recommend that the stuffing/dressing be cook on the side.  This makes cooking a juicy bird easier to monitor. Make sure when you insert the thermometer that it goes into the meat and not the cavity of the bird.



(Read the directions completely before you start cooking)

  1. Allow 11 minutes a pound for approximate cooking time. (for X-large birds 13 min. a lb)
  2. Allow the turkey to rest for 1 hour and come to room temperature before cooking. 
  3. Pre-heat the oven at 450°F. 
  4. Melt some butter and white wine in a saucepan to be used for basting.  Add some thyme, salt & pepper to taste.  Set aside. (If you ordered from us, this is done for you)
  5. Cut a double layer of cheesecloth approximately 10”x10” or large enough to cover the breast area of the bird.  Soak the cheesecloth in the wine and butter mixture.  Because the breast meat has less fat it has a tendency to become dry if the bird is left in the oven long enough to cook the dark meat.  This cheesecloth properly placed on the breast meat will slow down the cooking time and help ensure a moist bird. (Done for you.)
  6. Place the soaked cheesecloth on the breast of the bird.  Cover the bird with aluminum foil (shiny side out). (Done for you.)
  7. Cook for ½ hour at 450°F and reduce heat to 350°F and continue cooking.
  8. Using a pastry brush, baste the bird with the wine and butter mixture every half-hour.  Frequent basting will help ensure a moist bird.
  9. If the turkey drippings begin to fill the pan, remove them and save for the gravy.
  10. With 45 minutes of cooking time remaining, 60 minutes for birds 16 lbs and larger, remove the cheesecloth and foil, baste the bird and return it to the oven.  This will allow the bird to brown.
  11. Check the temperature.  Remove from the oven when the bird registers 160°F in the white meat on a meat thermometer (insert the thermometer into the meat 2” being careful to avoid any air pockets or the breast cavity)
  12. Remove the bird to your platter and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before carving.  The residual heat will continue to cook the bird
  13. Save the pan juices for the gravy.


Making Gravy

Make some turkey stock using the giblets, carrots celery, onions, herbs and seasoning or buy some chicken stock.  In a saucepan, heat turkey pan drippings and to thicken the gravy, whisk in flour (you can use a mixture of corn starch with a little water) until well blended.  Whisk thoroughly to avoid lumps; let cook until light brown.  Whisk in stock and simmer, mixing continuously for at least 15 minutes. 


All ovens and thermometers are not always created equal, we can’t be held responsible!

Lucy's Kitchen & Market   830 State Road (Route 206)   Princeton NJ, 08540   |   (609) 924-6881   |
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