Easy Tips to Cook Turkey

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

Easy tips to cook turkey are based on common sense, logic and scientific facts.  These tips guarantee you will cook and serve the tastiest and juiciest turkey you had ever had.  Yes, better than those served and catered from any restaurants.

Easy Tips to Cook Turkey | The Best Juicy Turkey - These tips are based on common sense, logic and scientific facts.  They guarantee you the juiciest and tastiest turkey that you had ever had.

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All these easy tips to cook turkey are the final products of my spending an entire year of cooking, experiments, trial and error.  I cooked so many pounds of turkey with different kinds of cut to get it to perfection.

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.  The turkey is on the dining table at least once a year.  But it had never been on my dining table.  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 meat.  Well, I did cook a lot of turkey within that year after committing myself into this task.  The crazy thing was that the turkey was so good that I barely had any leftover every time.

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

Best Juicy Turkey

Time Used by Turkey Size

Turkey Size

Prep Time

Cook Time


3.75 pounds

10 minutes

2 Hours


8 pounds

10 minutes

3-3.5 Hours


10 pounds

15 minutes

3.5-4 Hours



Among these easy tips to cook turkey, the No. 1 rule of thumb is air flow which is related to the turkey stuffing.  If you always cook the stuffing inside the bird, you MUST check this tip out.

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 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 several air conditioners blasting inside the house.  I am sure you will keep all the windows shut for the same reason to keep the inside temperature cool.  Now, 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 in order to 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, I always 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

Breast Side Up or Down

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, have the breast side up.  Do make sure to cook the first and last hour uncovered to seal the juice inside.  Cover it with the foil in between.

To cook 10.5 pound whole turkey (4 hours; rest 10 minutes), the first and last hour cooks it uncovered.  You only need to cover the turkey under the 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.

Easy Tips to Cook Turkey Recipe and Directions

3 3/4 pounds Split turkey breast

Marinade Only
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
teaspoon black pepper
teaspoon dried rosemary
teaspoon garlic powder
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 heaping
tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cup chicken/turkey 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 (triple the quantity of marinade and gravy)


  1. Make sure the bird, no matter what cut it is or its weight, is thoroughly thawed.
  2. Whisk all ingredients of the marinade in a mixing bowl and pour on top of turkey breast and inside the cavity.
  3. Try to massage with your hands while rubbing it on the meat; rub the marinade inside and outside of the bird.
  4. Cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and chill it overnight in the fridge.
  5. On the day of cooking, take the meat out and sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (the bigger the bird, the longer it should sit at room temperature before going into the oven.  For instance, if it is 7-8 lbs or heavier turkey, I would highly recommend to let it sit in room temperature for an hour.)
  6. Preheat oven at 400F.
  7. Line roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up later.
  8. Coat the pan with cooking spray.
  9. Put turkey breast side down and pour the marinade into the cavity and roast an hour.  For split turkey breast, skin side down first.  If the turkey is more than 7 pounds, I highly recommend you to have the breast side up.  
  10. Turn breast side up and roast another hour (Split turkey breast is skin side up.  Skip this step if you had the turkey breast side up at the beginning)
  11. Cook turkey until it is all the way cooked through.  The thermometer should have an instant read of the temperature at 180F.  Sometimes, turkey will come with a temperature indicator.  If it pops before the cooking time is up, take the turkey out and rest 10 minutes before carving
  12. While it is resting, take 2 teaspoon turkey dripping from the roasting pan and transfer to a saucepan
  13. Add butter and flour into the same saucepan with the turkey dripping cook at medium high heat. Whisk these 3 ingredients together and let the roux bubbles for a minute
  14. Whisk in the chicken or turkey broth until thick
  15. Add salt and pepper to taste
  16. Carve turkey and serve gravy on the side

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

What To Do With Turkey Leftover?

Most people love to save turkey leftover to make sandwiches.  But how much sandwich can you eat (or tolerate if you have tons of leftover)?  I remember a friend told me that her husband and she had an entire week of turkey sandwiches for dinner just to use up all the leftover.

Well, there are many, many ways to get rid of leftover headache.  Here are a couple recipes recommended for you:

Come back later for more turkey leftover recipes.

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