The Best Juicy Turkey
Common Sense Cooking
Air Flow Is The Key

The best juicy turkey...this is a recipe that I spent a whole year of cooking, experiments, trial and error.  I cooked so many pounds of turkey with different kinds of cut to get it to perfection.

Best Juicy Turkey

Prep Time: Varies  Cook Time: Varies  Serving: Varies



Turkey Size

Prep Time

Cook Time

Serving

3.75 pounds

10 minutes

2 Hours

4

8 pounds

10 minutes

3-3.5 Hours

4-6

10 pounds

15 minutes

3.5-4 Hours

6-8

For more than 10 years after moving to the States, I had never bothered to cook any turkey other than the ground one.

Every year, we have turkey in one of our relatives' house at least once a year.  The meat never appeals to me.  Then, one day, I asked myself, "Do you think you can cook your own?"

Since then, I had a mission after the Thanksgiving of 2014.  That is....cooking the  turkey to perfection with crispy skin, tasty and juicy.  Well, I did cook a lot of turkey within a year after committing myself into this task.  The crazy thing was that the
turkey was too good to barely have any leftover.

Anyway, what I discovered, there is a lot of science behind it.  But it is all about common sense that you will understand it easily.

Turkey Stuffing???

Stuffing stops the air circulation of the turkey.Stuffing stops the air circulation of the turkey.
Courtesy to becuo.com

I know many people like to cook the stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey.  If you want to have a tasty and the best juicy turkey with crispy skin on the outside, no more stuffing inside the bird.

What did I just say?  No more stuffing in the bird.  Yes, you heard it right.  No stuffing inside the bird.  Why?  It is all about air circulation.

The cavity of a turkey is like the windows of a house to allow air flowing through.The cavity of a turkey is like the windows of a house to allow air flowing through.
Courtesy to drawingstep.com

Let's have a daily example.  On a very cold winter day, will you open all the windows of your house?

No, other than any special reason, you will keep everything shut tight.  This will prevent the cold air coming inside the house.  The air flow will change the room temperature from warm to cold.

Apply this same theory in a hot summer day while you have the air conditioner blasting inside the house.  Then, apply this same logic to cooking turkey.

The cavity of the turkey is like 2 open windows of your house allowing the air flowing through the meat to change its temperature and cook it through.  Does it still sound like rocket science to you?  Now, it does make sense, huh?

Best Juicy TurkeyAlways line the aluminum foil on the turkey pan for easy clean up later.

Thawing A Frozen Turkey

We buy frozen turkey in the grocery stores most of the time.  So, thaw it in room temperature.  The rule of thumb of thawing is about an hour for a pound.  Depending on the room temperature setting, average 65F would do.

What I always do with the frozen turkey...I let it sit either on a baking sheet or in a turkey pan overnight.  Then, I don't need to worry about all the raw juices dripping everywhere, but the bake ware.

Starting out cooking just the turkey breasts to experiment before cooking the whole turkeyStarting out cooking just the turkey breasts to experiment before cooking the whole turkey

More Cooking Tips of Best Juicy Turkey

The larger the turkey, the more difficult to make it sit breast side down and turn it over in the midway.  I was still able to do it for a 7-pound one.  But if you don't feel comfortable with it.  Make sure to cook the first and last hour uncovered to seal the
juice inside.  Cover it with the foil in between.

7-8 pounds turkey doesn't need to be covered under foil.  The skin will come out perfectly brown and crispy.

To cook 10.5 lb whole turkey (4 hours; rest 10 minutes), the first and last hour cooks it uncovered.  Then, cover under aluminum foil in between.

Best Juicy TurkeyThis turkey can be served without the gravy. Look at the crispy skin and the meat with juice still running.

The Best Juicy Turkey Recipe

Ingredients
3 3/4 pounds Split turkey breast


Marinade Only
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2
teaspoon black pepper
1/2
teaspoon dried rosemary
1
teaspoon garlic powder
2
teaspoon poultry seasonings
1 pinch crushed red pepper
2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cooking spray

Gravy Only
2 teaspoon Turkey dripping
1 tablespoon butter
2 hipping
tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

8 pounds whole turkey breast or whole turkey (double the quantity of marinade and gravy)

10 pounds whole turkey (double or triple the quantity of marinade and gravy)

Gravy is always the complement of the turkey to make the flavor pop, not used it for putting the moisture back to the meatGravy is always the complement of the turkey to make the flavor pop, not used it for putting the moisture back to the meat
  1. Whisk all the ingredients of the marinade in a mixing bowl and pour on top of turkey breast and inside the cavity
  2. Try to massage with your hands while rubbing it on the meat; rub the marinade inside and outside of the bird
  3. Cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and chill it overnight
  4. On the day of cooking, take the meat out and sit in room temperature for at least 30 minutes (the bigger the bird, the longer it should sit in room temperature before going into the oven.  For instance, if it is 7-8 lbs turkey, I would highly recommend to let it sit in room temperature for an hour.)
  5. Preheat oven at 400F
  6. Line roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up later
  7. Coat the pan with cooking spray
  8. Put turkey breast side down and pour the marinade into the cavity and roast an hour
  9. Turn breast side up and roast another hour (You may not able to do the last 2 steps with a big turkey.  If that's the case, put the turkey into the pan breast side up)
  10. Sometimes, turkey will come with a indicator.  If it pops before the cooking time is up, take the turkey out and rest 10 minutes before carving
  11. While it is resting, take 2 teaspoon turkey dripping from the roasting pan and transfer to a saucepan
  12. Add butter and flour and cook at medium high heat
  13. Whisk all the ingredients together and let the roux bubbles for a minute
  14. Whisk in the chicken broth until thick
  15. Add salt and pepper to taste
  16. Carve turkey and serve gravy on the side


Return from Best Juicy Turkey Recipe page to Holiday Recipes page

Return to Easy Dinner Ideas Homepage




New! Comments

Be the first of your friends to comment what you just read

Like everything Routine and Regular?  Try this e-book

Ebook - 21 Day Fix Meal Ideas


Get Your FREE Weekly Dinner Plan and Shopping List