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How to Roast a Turkey

This Thanksgiving, we’ve got some helpful instructions on how to roast a turkey so you can impress your guests. Check out the recipe and pointers below that will take the guesswork out of cooking the most delicious bird ever.

Turkey tips

  • For more tender meat, choose a smaller bird. If you have several guests, cook two smaller birds – you’ll have plenty of meat and they’ll cook faster than one large turkey. Or add a turkey breast.
  • How big a turkey should you buy? Plan for about a pound of turkey per person. Feeding 10? Get a 10-pound turkey.
  • You don’t need to baste a turkey while it cooks. Basting doesn’t penetrate the skin and the oven loses heat while you’re basting.

Shop turkey and all the fixings for your picture-perfect dinner. And discover the best prices on fresh ingredients, wine pairings and more.

10 minutes
5 hours


  • 1 (16-lb.) whole turkey
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. each: dried thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Stir together butter and herbs in a small bowl. Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a heavy-duty large roasting pan. Rub it inside and out with the butter mixture.
  2. Roast for 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165°F, tenting loosely with foil if it browns too quickly. Let turkey rest outside the oven for up to 30 minutes, covered with foil, before carving.
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