Perfect Roast Turkey

When we first got married, I was petrified of cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.  My experiences with turkey had not been all that positive.  I used to call it the “meat made my teeth squeak”…meaning for whatever reason, I perceived that turkey was dry.  Now grant it, this was MY perception and none of my other family members remember it being that way.  Nevertheless, my past left me terrified of cooking turkey.

THEN, the heavens opened, and this recipe fell into my lap and not only have I never had a bad turkey experience but I also have at least one person each year contact me for the recipe.  So, I thought I would share it with you.

It comes from a little paperback recipe book that I found years ago titled, Holiday Meals, by Sue Gregg.  I must admit that I omit her stuffing suggestion and I add the pepper and garlic powder…but for the most part, I have stayed true to her original recipe.

Perfect Roast Turkey

AMOUNT:  Allow 3/4 to 1 lb. per serving for turkey under 12 lbs. or 1/2 to 3/4 lb. per serving for turkey over 12 lbs.


  • 300 degrees preheated, Roast 1 hour, uncovered
  • 180 to 185 degrees, Roast 45-60 minutes per lb.


1.  Wash turkey thoroughly, including cavities (remove neck and giblets) and pat dry with paper towels.

2.  Rub the entire turkey with olive oil.

3.  Salt, pepper, and sprinkle garlic powder all over the turkey including the cavities.

4.  Place turkey BREAST SIDE DOWN on rack in roasting pan.

5.  Place meat thermometer in meaty portion of bird, not touching bone.

6.  Place in oven preheated to 300 degrees.   This is very important in order to kill bacteria.  Roast 1 hour at 300 degrees.

7.  Reduce heat to 180-185 degrees, roast 45-60 minutes per lb.  (three times the standard time per lb.)  Larger birds will require the longer cooking time per lb.

8.  Roast until meat thermometer registers 190 degrees.

(Here is a little hint from me!  As you near the time the bird it to be done, I raise the temp on the oven back to 300 degrees to get a golden skin on the bird and to be doubly sure that I reach the 190 degree mark.)

And there you have it.  It is so easy that people can’t believe it.  I actually start the bird the night before Thanksgiving and once I’ve completed the one hour at 300 degrees, I turn it down to 185 and go to bed.  The smell of delicious roast turkey wakes me up the next morning.  (depending on the size of the bird of course)

Nothing like having the “main event” complete itself overnight.

Try it and let me know how it works!








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