Juicy Oven Roasted Turkey

December 13, 2021

This easy method of roasting a turkey has been tested and tasted.
The roasted turkey turned out to be delicious, juicy and moist, all the time and every time.
I would say this a no fail on "How to Roast a Turkey" recipe is a keeper!

 Roast Turkey

 Roasting a Turkey can be quite a daunting experience for a first timer.

I was that person, with my first turkey, and it was a huge bird. 
This was years ago when we had family gathering

The outcome: that roasted turkey turned out dry! 

Fast forward many years, I have learned few tricks and trick to have an almost perfect oven roasted turkey.

I am sharing with you my secret to achieve that juicy roast turkey ;p

How to Prepare Roast Turkey

Frozen turkeys are abundant this time of the year!
Turkeys come in many sizes, but for my small family, I prefer the 2.8 kg (6.2 pounds) whole turkey.

The turkeys sold here are labelled as self basting turkey, which pretty much means that the turkeys are already  prep for roasting. 
There is no need to soak the turkey in salt water or brine. 

 juicy and moist oven roasted turkey

Plan Ahead Prior to Roasting a Turkey

Frozen turkey requires thawing.

It is best to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days prior.
Best to check on the turkey after the 3rd day.

If the turkey is still rock solid with ice, thaw the turkey out on the kitchen bench on the 3rd day, if you are roasting the turkey on the 4th day.

 ingredients to roast turkey

Do I need to clean the turkey before roasting?

This is totally up to you, but I do clean my turkey prior to roasting, especially the inside.

Give the turkey a quick wash and pat dry inside out with kitchen paper.

Few More Steps to do before roasting a turkey:

Salt and pepper

I will rub some salt and pepper onto the turkey skin and into its cavity.
 rub salt and pepper into turkey skin


I will insert under the turkey skin some butter and some into its cavity.

 insert butter into turkey cavity

Stuff the turkey

I have made turkey stuffing with stale bread, onion and sage or thyme with some onions.
But this was not my family favourite.

Our favourite is to stuff the turkey with quinoa, walnut and cranberries.
Sometimes I add some lemon zest to the stuffing.
Recipe in the recipe card below.

 quinoa, walnut and cranberry stuffing for turkey

 how to roast a turkey

String and toothpick.

I use few toothpick to stitch the cavity and baking string to hold the turkey in place.

How long to Roast a Turkey for?

My rule of thumb on how long to roast the turkey for is 4 minutes for every 100g (0.2 lbs).
I use the same rule for chicken too :).

At what temperature should I cook the turkey?

I cook my turkey at 170C (fan forced) which is equivalent to 190c (conventional) or 375F.

How to Roast a Turkey?

Now we get the nitty gritty information out of the way.

We are ready to roast the turkey!

Let us do some math!
I used 2.8kg turkey which is about 6.2 lbs.
I need to roast this turkey for 120 minutes plus extra 20 minutes for resting (after taking turkey out of the oven)

Secret to a juicy and moist turkey

I have been using this method and my turkey always turned out moist and juicy.

So what is the secret to a moist and juicy roast turkey?

I used the first 30 minutes by roasting the turkey breast side down first.
Yes, you read it right, BREAST SIDE DOWN first!

 roasting turkey for thanksgiving

I know you will be asking WHY?

All juices will be run downwards and 'trap' within the thick flesh within the turkey breast, and that makes it juicy and moist.

 basting turkey

After 30 minutes, baste the turkey with the juice collected at the bottom of the roasting tray then flip the turkey onto its back and roast for the remaining of the time.

Don't forget to baste the breast before putting the back back into the oven.

Note : you may want to rotate the tray half way through, if the heat in your oven is not evenly distributed.

 whole turkey recipe

How to Check the turkey when it is done?

The same method I used when roasting a chicken, I will insert a skewer onto the thickest part, which is turkey breast.
If the liquid comes out clear, then the turkey is cooked, but the liquid comes out pinkish, extend the roasting time to another 5 to 10 minutes or so.

 best way to cook turkey

Do I need to rest the turkey after roasting?

Yes , resting the turkey is a must so that the heat will carry on 'cooking' the turkey.

Do remember to cover the turkey with baking paper (optional) then aluminium foil, so the heat will not escape and the meat will not turn dry.

Slice and serve.

What do I serve roasted turkey with?

My family loves to have roast potatoes, roast carrots or roast broccoli to go with our roast turkey.

Don't forget the gravy too.

 roast vegetables and roast turkey

How to make gravy to serve with roast turkey?

When roasting turkey on a roasting rack, you will see some juices collected on the pan.

Transfer the turkey juice and fat onto a saucepan.
Heat up and add 2 tablespoon of plain flour.

Cook and stir until flour is thoroughly cooked, add 1 to 2 cups of water until the sauce thicken.
Season with salt and add 1 teaspoon of chicken stock granules.

How to keep the leftover turkey?

If there is any leftover, place the turkey in an airtight glass container and refrigerate.

You can heat up in the microwave for 1 minute or 2 minutes on HIGH (depending on your microwave).

 roast turkey and gravy

Suggested recipes to try during this holiday season!

Sticky strawberry wings

Main meal
 Slow Roast Duck with Cherry Sauce 

Non-Alcoholic Sangria 

Steamed Fruit Cake 
Mini Mince Pies

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Rosemary Cookies
Chocolate Cookies with Crushed Candy Canes
Cranberry Walnut Cookies

This easy method of roasting a turkey has been tested and tasted. The roasted turkey turned out to be delicious, juicy and moist, all the time and every time. I would say this a no fail on "How to Roast a Turkey" recipe is a keeper!