Easy Roast Turkey with Gravy

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The high-heat method is my favorite way to roast turkey. The bird cooks quickly and emerges from the oven juicy and crisp-skinned.

Easy Roast Turkey with Gravy

The high-heat roasting method is my favorite way to cook a turkey. The prep time is minimal, the cooking time is short, and the turkey emerges from the oven juicy and crisp-skinned. The only drawback is that the high heat can cause a little smoke in the kitchen, so be sure your oven is spotless prior to cooking — and, while the bird roasts, turn on your exhaust fan and crack a window.

Note that this method works best for turkeys under 14 pounds. For Thanksgiving, I typically make one roast turkey along with a rolled stuffed turkey breast (a make-ahead family favorite) so we have variety and plenty of leftovers. Finally, if you’re a turkey novice or cooking a turkey feels intimidating, check out my post Turkey Talk — it will make you feel better!

What you’ll need to make roast turkey with Gravy

easy roast turkey with gravy

How to make roast turkey with Gravy

To begin, remove and discard truss that holds turkey legs together. Trim off and discard any excess fat in the neck or body cavity. Remove giblets and neck; discard or save for stock.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Rinse turkey inside and out with warm water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place a V-shaped rack in a 13 x 16 x 3-inch heavy stainless-steel roasting pan. (Do not use a dark roasting pan or a disposable aluminum pan.)

Rub the turkey skin all over with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Set the bird breast-side-up on the rack. Pull the wings away from the body, then firmly twist them to push the wing tips under the bird.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Using aluminum foil, form caps over the tips of the end of each drumstick. (Do not tie the legs together, add stuffing, or close the body cavity.) Insert a digital leave-in meat thermometer near the center of the breast through thickest part until the tip touches the bone. Turn on your exhaust fan and crack a kitchen window.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Place the turkey in the oven and roast, without basting, until the thermometer reaches 160°F, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Halfway through roasting time, rotate the pan in the oven to assure even cooking and browning. (If at any point your kitchen gets unbearably smoky or the fat is spitting, pour a cup of tepid water in the roasting pan. Just keep in mind that liquid will create steam, which prevents the skin from getting as crispy.) Remove the pan from the oven.

easy roast turkey with gravyUsing oven mitts that you don’t mind getting dirty, carefully tilt the turkey so that the juices from the cavity run into the roasting pan. Transfer the turkey to a platter or cutting board (do not clean the roasting pan), tent the turkey with foil, and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This will allow the internal temperature to reach at least 165°F (the USDA safe-cooking temperature for turkey) and the juices to settle.

easy roast turkey with gravy

How To Make Gravy

While the turkey rests, make the gravy: Place the roasting pan over a burner on your stove. (Be careful handling the pan, as the handles will be hot.) Skim away any excess fat or solids that have accumulated in the pan.
easy roast turkey with gravy

Add the broth and cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan with a whisk or wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits, until simmering. Turn off the heat and set aside.

easy roast turkey with gravy

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Add the onions.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Cook until very soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Do not brown.

Add the flour.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Whisk and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Whisk in the turkey dripping-chicken broth mixture and Cognac and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until thickened.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Stir in the cream (if using) and chopped herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

easy roast turkey with gravy

Transfer to a gravy bowl. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy on the side.

 

Easy Roast Turkey with Gravy

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Easy Roast Turkey With Gravy

The high-heat method is my favorite way to roast turkey. The bird cooks quickly and emerges from the oven juicy and crisp-skinned.

Servings: 8 to 10
Total Time: 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh turkey (11 to 14 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion, from 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme, sage, rosemary, or parsley)

You Will Need:

  • 13 x 16 x 3-inch heavy stainless-steel roasting pan
  • V-shaped roasting rack
  • Leave-in digital meat thermometer, like this one

Instructions

  1. Before cooking, be sure that your oven is VERY clean to prevent smoking. Preheat the oven to 450°F and set an oven rack in the lowest position.
  2. Remove and discard truss that holds turkey legs together. Trim off and discard any excess fat in the neck or body cavity. Remove giblets and neck; discard or save for stock.
  3. Rinse the turkey inside and out with warm water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place a V-shaped rack in a 13 x 16 x 3-inch heavy stainless-steel roasting pan. (Do not use a dark roasting pan or a disposable aluminum pan.) Rub the turkey skin all over with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Set the bird breast-side-up on the rack. Pull the wings away from the body, then firmly twist them to push the wing tips under the bird. Using aluminum foil, form caps over the tips of the end of each drumstick. (Do not tie the legs together, add stuffing, or close the body cavity.)Insert a digital leave-in meat thermometer near the center of the breast through the thickest part until the tip touches the bone.
  4. Turn on your exhaust fan and crack a kitchen window. Place the turkey in the oven and roast, without basting, until the thermometer reaches 160°F, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the pan halfway through cooking to assure even browning. (If at any point your kitchen gets unbearably smoky or the fat is spitting, pour a cup of tepid water in the roasting pan. Just keep in mind that the liquid will create steam in the oven, so the skin won't be quite as crispy.)
  5. Remove the pan from the oven. Using clean oven mitts (that you don't mind getting dirty), carefully tilt the turkey so that the juices from the cavity run into the roasting pan. Transfer the turkey to a platter or cutting board (do not clean the roasting pan), tent the turkey with foil, and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This will allow the internal temperature to reach at least 165°F (the USDA safe-cooking temperature for turkey) and the juices to settle.
  6. While the turkey rests, make the gravy: Place the roasting pan on a burner on your stove. (Be very careful handling the pan; it's easy to forget that it's hot.) Skim away any excess fat or solids that have accumulated in the pan. Add the broth and cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan with a whisk or wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits, until simmering. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  7. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until very soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Do not brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the turkey dripping-chicken broth mixture and Cognac and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cream (if using) and chopped herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer to a gravy bowl.
  8. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy on the side.
  9. Make-Ahead Instructions: If you don't mind losing the crispy skin, the turkey can be roasted and carved ahead of time. Pour a thin layer of the gravy into an ovenproof serving platter. Arrange the carved turkey nicely on top of the gravy; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days. Refrigerate the remaining gravy in a separate container. To reheat: remove the plastic wrap and cover the platter with aluminum foil. Place in a 325°F-oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the turkey is hot. Reheat the gravy in the microwave or on the stovetop.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Jennifer knows things. Trust that! If you do not brine and then smoke your turkey, which takes a day or more, then cook the bird this way! That is to say, unless you are willing to take two days to bring wonder to your table and family, then this is the way to go. Yes, clean the oven. Yes, have the vents ready. Yes, share the love that only cooking can give to those you love most. I was 12 before I learned that gravey was not a beverage. This gravy almost erased that lesson. Bless you, Jenn, for sharing wisdom.
    The Old White Guy in Houston, moved to Colorado.
    Bill

    • — Bill Elsotn on November 30, 2019
    • Reply
  • Made this for the second time this month. The first time was a 12lb frozen turkey…my trial run. Then again today with an 18lb fresh bird (breast only). Both times were delicious. The look on my guests faces when they arrived and the bird wasn’t in the oven yet was priceless. Everyone loved it. In fact, almost every item on my menu was one of your recipes. I almost felt guilty when everyone raved about everything! Made your turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce. Thank you for making me look like a rockstar today! All of your recipes is fool proof and delicious.

    • — Pam on November 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • I just made our Thanksgiving turkey at 450 F as you mentioned in the recipe above. It was delicious! Very moist and probably the best turkey I’ve eaten. I also made your challah bread stuffing, french green beans with shallots, and sweet potatoes with maple and thyme. It was my first time hosting Thanksgiving and everything turned out pretty well! Thank you so much for the tips, Jenn! You keep me interested in cooking as you offer recipes that are both adventurous and reliably tasty pleasing both the adults and children in my family. Thank you!

    • — Kristiana on November 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • 💕

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can you cook the turkey this way stuffed with dressing?

    • — Sandy on November 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandy, I wouldn’t recommend it with this roasting method — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, for the gravy, I have spiced rum, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce-would you recommend any of these to substitute for the brandy/Cognac?

    • — KJ on November 27, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi KJ, I think you’re better off just leaving it out, unless you by chance have white wine?

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • If I have a kosher turkey, should I use less salt?

    • — Anne on November 27, 2019
    • Reply
    • Yes, I’d probably cut it in half. You can add more to taste if necessary. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • I have two 11lb turkeys. Do I need to adjust the cooking time because I’m cooking two at the same time?

    • — Lisa on November 27, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, it may take a bit longer with both turkeys in the oven, but the best way to determine whether or not they’re fully cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer and remove the turkeys when the temperature reaches 160°F. And make sure to rotate the pans in the oven once to ensure even roasting. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can I make the gravy a day or two ahead? Then on Thanksgiving reheat it on the stove and add the turkey drippings?

    • — Pam on November 26, 2019
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    • Sure, Pam – that will work. Happy Thanksgiving!

      • — Jenn on November 26, 2019
      • Reply
  • All I have available to me is a disposable pan for the turkey. Why do you advise against those? Should I skip this high temp method? Thanks!

    • — Marty on November 24, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Marty, You won’t be able to use the disposable pan on the stovetop for making the gravy; also, you need a rack to cook the turkey properly with this method. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2019
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    • Hi Marty, You really need a heavy pan because it needs to go on the stovetop after cooking (to make the gravy). Also, this method really requires a rack. I’d recommend using the traditional method with a disposable pan. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I usually brine my turkey. Is it okay to brine with your recipe?

    Thanks
    Donna

    • — Donna DAndrea on November 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Definitely — hope you enjoy. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2019
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      • What are your thoughts about adding vegetables (onions, carrots, celery) to the bottom of the pan. I usually add to make my gravy with the vegetables and then strain.

        • — Donna DAndrea on November 24, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Donna, I don’t recommend it here because you’d need some sort of liquid or additional fat to keep the vegetables from burning, and that just doesn’t work with the high temperature method (fat will splatter and liquid will create steam).

          • — Jenn on November 25, 2019
          • Reply
  • I’m visiting with family and they only have a disposable aluminum pan for the turkey. Is the reason for not using that because it’s difficult to get the heat right for making gravy? I like the simplicity of your method and would like to try it.

    Also, I’ve been reading roasting suggestions on the ThermoWorks site, and they talk about the different finishing temperatures for breast and thigh meat, suggesting that the dark meat is better about 10 degrees higher than the white to give the connective tissue time to dissolve. Do you notice any issues with the dark meat being less tender when it’s cooked to the lower temperature that’s better for white meat? Thank you!

    • — Kay on November 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kay, You won’t be able to use the disposable pan on the stovetop for making the gravy; also, you need a rack to cook the turkey properly with this method. The dark is better when cooked a bit longer but the only way to accomplish that w/o the white meat drying out is to cook the white and dark meat separately, or to cut off the legs after roasting and put them back in the oven. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • What is the temperature? I can’t find it!!

    • — Shelley Canon on November 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • 450°F 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Love your recipes! So thankful for them and appreciate them.
    I will be using a fresh turkey this year. Does that make any difference in the preparing or the cooking of it? Is there anything that you would recommend that I do with a fresh turkey? Thank you so much for your advice.

    • — Bridget on November 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Bridget! No, I don’t think any changes would be necessary with a fresh turkey. Hope you enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2019
      • Reply
  • I have an old dark roasting pan. Just curious why you don’t recommend using it. Thanks!

    • — Danielle on November 21, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Danielle, What type of pan is it? Is it heavy? If it’s a good-quality heavy pan, it should be fine (it’s those dark speckled pans that a lot of people have that cause problems).

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2019
      • Reply
      • It is the dark speckled pan unfortunately. My other pans aren’t large enough to hold the turkey without some of the turkey hanging out of the pan.

        • — DANIELLE on November 22, 2019
        • Reply
  • If I want to make the gravy gluten-free, would a 1 to 1 gluten-free flour be better or cornstarch?

    • — Sandy on November 20, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandy, I’d go with the gluten-free flour. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2019
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,
      So, I’ve heard of the Safeway method from many years ago but just wasn’t too confident in trying it. However, when I saw that You did it, I was more than happy to give it a shot. I made a 13# turkey yesterday (day after Thanksgiving) and it was beautiful not to mention so moist! It only took an hour an half and such a beautiful golden color which I’ve never been able to achieve with the traditional method of roasting. Thank you so much! Will definitely be making my turkey every year using your recipe.

      • — Gale on November 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • can i use this method in a bbq? really afraid smoke will ruin the gathering. thanks

    • — Sam rose on November 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sam, I’ve never cooked a whole turkey on the grill so it’s hard to say for sure but I’d be concerned that the skin would burn before the turkey was cooked through. That said, here is a recipe for a grilled turkey if you want to take a peek.

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can you use this same recipe for a turkey or turkey breast that has been salted and refrigerated the night before? Or do you only recommend salting before baking?

    • — Alycia S. Lamparski on November 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • I think that should be fine, Alycia (but only salt it once). 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • Thank you for all your recipes you share!
    At what temp are you putting the turkey in the oven to “roast”
    Happy holidays!

    • — Lesa on November 15, 2019
    • Reply
    • My pleasure, Lesa! The oven should be set to 450°F/230°C. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi there,
    Can I inject the turkey with the Tony Chachere’s Injectable Butter Marinade, 17 fl oz seasoning and then use your high heat roasting method?—I’m afraid of the simple salt/pepper seasoning not adding enough flavor to mask an otherwise plain tasting/smelling turkey.
    appreciate your input…

    • — joojoo on November 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Joojoo, I’ve never used anything like that, but I think it should work. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • What can I substitute for the Cognac or brandy? Or should I just skip it?

    • — Dottie on November 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Dottie, Brandy would be fine here. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2019
      • Reply
      • I guess I wasn’t clear in my question. We don’t keep Cognac or brandy in the house, so is there a substitute you can suggest? Or can I just skip the 2 TB? Love your recipes. You are my go-to Chef!

        • — Dottie on November 14, 2019
        • Reply
        • Oh sorry Dottie – I misread your question! Yes, it’s fine to omit it – it won’t have a significant impact on the taste. (And glad you like the recipes 💗!)

          • — Jenn on November 14, 2019
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          • I have a fresh, 16 pound turkey. You said that this recipe works best for turkeys under 14 pounds. Is there another recipe you would recommend for my larger turkey?

            • — Kristiana on November 27, 2019
          • I think you could get away with a 16-lb turkey here, Kristiana; just reduce the heat to 425°F.

            • — Jenn on November 27, 2019
  • I’m thinking of making this recipe this year. My oven has convection roast, as well as the usual “bake”…is this a better setting?
    I get your emails.

    • — Eileen J Feldman on November 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • I create and test all my recipes using the regular “bake” setting so I’d go that route. If you’d prefer to use the convection setting, reduce the temperature by 25°F.

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Love your recipes! Question on rinsing the turkey before cooking. It has been recently advised against this for sanitary reasons in one’s sink etc. Do you still advise doing so? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • — Janis on October 31, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Janis, I still recommend rinsing the turkey if you’re comfortable. Just make sure you sanitize the sink and surrounding counter after doing it. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 31, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn… I only have a dark roasting pan, would this recipe not work? Thank you!

        • — Stephanie Jimenez on November 16, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Stephanie, What type of pan is it? Is it heavy? If it’s a good quality heavy pan, it should be fine (it’s those dark speckled pans that a lot of people use that causes problems).

          • — Jenn on November 18, 2019
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn:
    Will be roasting a 24 lb turkey on Saturday. Do I double the cooking time as I don’t have a thermometer?
    Also, you said not to stuff it. I’ve roasted turkeys before with stuffing, starting at 450 for 20 minutes and then turning heat to 350. Flip the bird half way through and repeat. But with 24 lb turkey it will difficult to flip so thought I’d try this method.

    Any thoughts?

    • — Connie Manuel on October 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Connie, This method works best for smaller turkeys because of the smoke issue but it’s doable with a bigger turkey if your oven is VERY, VERY clean and you use the right type of roasting pan. Also, be sure that no parts of the bird extend beyond the rim of the pan. (If any parts extend beyond the pan, the drippings will cause a LOT of smoke.) And if the turkey starts to get too dark on top toward the end, just cover it with foil. I’d guesstimate the cook time for a 24-lb turkey would be about 2 1/2 hours (but your best bet is to rely on a meat thermometer – you’ll remove the turkey from the oven when the temperature reaches 160°F). Hope that helps and please let me know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2019
      • Reply
  • My turkey is about 17.5lbs. Am I still able to prepare this turkey in the same manner or can I alter the recipe some way?

    • — Frances on October 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Frances, This method works best for smaller turkeys because of the smoke issue but it’s doable with a bigger turkey if your oven is VERY clean and you use the correct type of roasting pan. Also, be sure that no parts of the turkey extend beyond the rim of the pan. (If any parts extend beyond the rim, the drippings will cause a LOT of smoke.) And if the turkey starts to get too dark on top toward the end, just cover it with foil. I’d estimate the cook time for a 17.5-lb turkey would be about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours (but your best bet is to rely on the meat thermometer and remove the turkey from the oven when the temperature reaches 160°F). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2019
      • Reply
      • I just took out the Turkey from the oven and it looks delicious! It turned out perfectly roasted. I made it ahead of time, and my guests will be eating it tomorrow. I’ll have it all ready for them. Thanks!

        • — Frances on October 13, 2019
        • Reply
        • 👍 Hope everyone enjoys!

          • — Jenn on October 14, 2019
          • Reply
        • Update – we ate the Turkey the next day and it was delicious. I didn’t carve the turkey the day I made it (I covered in tin foil and sealed in wrap), but carved it the next day for Thanksgiving. The skin wasn’t crispy as you previously mentioned, but I don’t serve it so it wasn’t an issue. I was told that it was very moist and delicious. Thanks again. Love your recipes.

          • — Frances on October 15, 2019
          • Reply
          • Hi Jenn,

            Can I stuff aromatics inside of the turkey…onion, orange, bay leaves? Will that change the cooking time much? Also do you recommend regular roasting or convection roasting. My oven has both functions.

            You are our absolute go to resource for fabulous, never fail recipes…both your website and your terrific cookbook. Thank you!

            Happy Thanksgiving,
            Leslie

            • — Leslie Wilson on November 23, 2019
          • Hi Leslie, Glad you like the recipes! I don’t think using aromatics in the turkey cavity should impact the cooking time. And I always test my recipes using the conventional/non-fan setting in my oven so for the most predictable results, I’d go that route. Happy Thanksgiving!

            • — Jenn on November 23, 2019
  • Hi Jenn,

    I wanted to make a trial run of this using a turkey breast. How long should it roast and also could I set it on a flat rack in my roasting pan?

    Thanks!

    Katy

    • — Katy on July 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Katy, It’s hard to say how long a turkey breast will take as it really depends on the size. I’d use an instant-read thermometer and remove the turkey from the oven when the temperature reaches 160°F. And yes, I’d use either a V-shaped or flat rack in your roasting pan. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 15, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,
        I prepared a 3 lb. turkey breast tonight using the method above. I used a V-shaped rack in my roasting pan. I rubbed the skin with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and then sprinkled it with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and probably 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. I removed from the oven after just less than an hour when the instant read thermometer temperature hit 160°F and then tented for 1/2 an hour. It was fabulous!!! The skin was really crispy and the meat was incredibly juicy. My husband and son both gave it a “10”. We used it to make turkey and cranberry sandwiches on sourdough bread. This was incredibly easy and probably some of the best turkey I’ve had. It definitely beats the deli turkey breasts sold in the store. Fantastic!!!! Thanks again for a wonderful recipe. I’m looking forward to seeing if you have any new recipes coming out for the holidays :).

        • — Katy on July 18, 2019
        • Reply
        • Happy to hear it turned out nicely — thanks so much for the follow-up! 🙂

          • — Jenn on July 19, 2019
          • Reply
  • I have cooked turkey dinners at least twice a year for the last 35+ years. Like Chef Jen I have tried I all. I totally agree with Chef Jen’s method. Simple is better. I want to add one thing that I learned years ago from an article about what professional chefs do. I forget who the chef was, but this is what you do: Cook the turkey the DAY BEFORE the big event. Let it cool, wrap completely in aluminum foil, put it in the fridge. The next morning, take it out and carve it completely. Then put all the meat in a pan and heat over water. I use a big lasagna pan with a rack at the bottom. I lay the slices of meat on the rack. Put about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the pan (under the meat, but not touching ). Cover the whole thing tightly with foil. About 30 minutes before serving, put the pan in the oven 325-350 degrees to reheat. The first thing people say when you serve it is, “This turkey is so moist!” I have heard this comment over and over. This method avoids the dreaded carving of a warm turkey (such a mess), the dreaded timing issue (oh no, the turkey isn’t done!). The long-ago chef said, if you absolutely must have a beautiful roasted turkey to show everyone, cook a “presentation turkey” the day of the event, bring it out to the table on a platter for the ooohs and aaaahs, take it back to the kitchen “to carve”, and then serve the turkey you cooked the day before. You can save the presentation turkey for soup or whatever. (I have never made the second turkey, no one seems to miss the show.) you can make the gravy the day before too and just reheat on the stove top.

    • — Anonymous in Atl on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • This was the easiest turkey roasting I’ve ever found!!! And at nearing 70 I’ve tried a few. I didn’t have any problems with smoke and the bird was great. Thanks!

    • — Ginger on November 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • The turkey cooked quickly and the skin was nice and crispy. It did smoke a bit but the smoke was worth it for the short cooking time and cripsy skin. The meat was also incredibly juicy. The gravy was rich and salty , I will cut the butter back and add more broth next time. The gravy as is was decadent, I’m just looking to take it back a notch. My mother generally cooks Thanksgiving dinner and I didn’t have a go-to recipe for turkey or gravy. I do now. There is no need to go in search of other turkey and gravy recipes. These are perfect.

    • — Katrina on November 23, 2018
    • Reply
  • I’ve been brining for days and roasting & basting for many hours for 15+ years…never again!! This was SO easy and my 20 lb turkey turned out beautifully. I used a heavy Calphalon roasting pan and the kitchen did get a little smoky, not too bad. Thank you Jen for taking the stress out of Thanksgiving! Bought your cookbook; love everything you do!!

    • — Melanie on November 23, 2018
    • Reply
  • Great, easy turkey recipe. Thank you!

    • — Stephanie on November 22, 2018
    • Reply
  • If you put your thermometer probe touching the bone, will you get an accurate reading as the bone gets very hot?

    • — Linda Kivitz on November 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but it works. I’ve been doing it that way for years and I always get an accurate reading. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made the gravy, but it is very buttery. I followed the recipe exactly with drippings from a 12 lb. turkey. How can I adjust the flavor?

    • — Beth on November 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Beth, If it is too rich for your liking, you can add a little more broth.

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m going to try your high heat method of cooking my 24 lb bird this year, after making sure my oven is good and clean, turning on the fan and opening a window. My question is….why can I not use a large dark pan (non-stick) with V-rack to cook the bird? I notice your recipe specifically advises against this and wasn’t sure why.

    Many thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!
    Sincerely,
    Mary from LA

    • — Mary Nelson on November 21, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary from LA! Dark metal absorbs and distributes heat more quickly than lighter-colored pans so this can cause the burning/smoking I mentioned. But if it’s a good quality heavy pan, it should be fine (it’s those dark speckled pans that a lot of people use that cause problems). With such a large bird, you want to be extra sure that no parts of the bird extend beyond the rim of the pan, as splatters in the oven cause smoke. And if the skin starts to get too dark on the top towards the end, cover it with foil. The cook time for 24-lb bird would be 2.5 to 3 hours. If at any point your kitchen gets too smoky you can always turn the heat down to 350°F to finish cooking the bird (just leave yourself enough time). Hope that helps and please let me know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2018
      • Reply
      • Jenn, I just wanted to let you know that the high heat method was FANTASTIC! My ovens were fairly clean (although not spotless) and I had absolutely no trouble with burning or smoking. I did turn on a low exhaust fan, cracked a window and used a pan large enough for the bird (even that non-stick one) which must have helped too. My 24-lb bird cooked in 2 hours! It was amazing! I couldn’t believe how ahead of the game I was. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. FYI, even with a 24-lb bird, I still made your turkey roulade (which was fabulous – check out my review there)! One hour and 15 min exactly and so gorgeous looking – wow! Thanks Jenn! Hope your holiday was calm and relaxing 🙂

        • — Mary Nelson on December 7, 2018
        • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe. I used an 8lb turkey breast and it came out perfect. Lovely browned skin and moist meat. Much easier than prior recipes that I have followed. I used a fairly heavy, dark roasting pan and did not have any issue with burning/smoke.

    Thank you Jenn for providing wonderful recipes.

    • — Connie on November 19, 2018
    • Reply
  • Do you use convection roast/bake or regular bake?
    Thank you.

    • — Paula on November 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Paula, I use a regular oven. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • Is the chicken broth regular or low sodium? thanks

    • — Jeannie Jones on November 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • Regular 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen~ I love everything you make! I have never been disappointed! So thank you!

    This year I am making two turkey breasts instead of one large turkey. Since no one in my family eats dark meat, I always end up wasting it. And I hate being wasteful.

    Would I be able to roast the turkey breasts using this method? If so, do you have recommendations about time/temp/ roasting pan size?
    Thank you!

    • — Kelly on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, So glad you enjoy the recipes! Yes, you can use this recipe for bone-in turkey breasts. The roasting pan would be the same as well as the oven temp. The timing will depend on the size of the breasts. (Use a digital leave-in meat thermometer and remove it from the oven when the temp reaches 160°F.) Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2018
      • Reply
      • The breasts are about 7lbs each. I have a large roaster and rack- do you think I could put them both on the same one? Also, I was considering making on Wednesday, slicing and reheating Thursday. Do you think this would work, or should I just cook the turkey on Thanksgiving? I am a little nervous… Thanks! And Happy Thanksgiving!

        • — Kelly on November 18, 2018
        • Reply
        • Hi Kelly, Assuming both the breasts fit on the rack and don’t hang over the side of the roasting pan, it should be fine. And it’s perfectly fine to make it a day ahead and then reheat it on Thursday. If you scroll down to the bottom of the recipe, you’ll find some “make-ahead” instructions that should be helpful.

          • — Jenn on November 20, 2018
          • Reply
  • I have an all clad roaster which has a black non-stick finish. It is a nice pan with heating threshold of 500 degrees. Should I adjust temperature of my oven down from 450 to compensate for the black pan? If so, how many degrees? thanks!

    • — Jackie on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • I think you’ll be fine with the all-clad roaster, Jackie – but if it starts to smoke, you can reduce the heat 25°F. The pans to really worry about are those light-weight dark and speckled roasters.

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • I am going to make the Turkey ahead of time this year per your recipe. I see you add a thin of layer of gravy. Other recipes I have found online drizzle chicken stock or turkey stock over. What do you think is best and why?

    • — Betty Jean Parsonson on November 14, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Betty, You could go either way (or even use a little of both). I prefer to use a little gravy (so long as you have enough to spare) as the turkey picks up the flavor as it sits in the fridge.

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • Wondering if the cooking time of 1.5 hours holds true for a 20 lb+ bird? I realize the need to use a thermometer as the ultimate guide but just want to ensure I’m putting the turkey in at the appropriate time to serve a planned seated dinner time. Thanks!

    Also love your recipes, especially the beef stew!

    • — linda schab on November 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, This method works best for smaller birds b/c of the smoke issue but it is totally doable with a 20-lb turkey if your oven in clean and you use the right type of roasting pan. Also, be sure that no parts of the bird extend beyond the rim of the pan. And if it starts to get too dark on the top towards the end, just cover it with foil. The cook time for 20-lb bird would be closer to 2 hours. Hope that helps and please let me know how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2018
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,

        Thanks for your very prompt response! Just picked up my 24 lbs bird. Yikes! Thinking that is way too heavy to attempt the high temp cooking time/method, not to mention the fact that despite well intentioned cleaning it may not be enough to prevent the inevitable smoke factor. That said I will capitalize on all of your other wonderful recipes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted carrots, brussel sprouts et. al.. Thanks again, you make my cooking magic 🙂

        Linda

        • — Linda Schab on November 20, 2018
        • Reply
        • ☺️

          • — Jenn on November 21, 2018
          • Reply
        • Linda, how did your turkey turn out? Would love to know as I’m making a 25lb turkey.

          • — Sandy on December 5, 2018
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn 🙂

    I would love to try this recipe but have a dark roasting pan with the v rack. I noticed you said not to use a dark pan, why is that though? Is there some way I can adjust the recipe to still use that type of pan? Thank you for your time and thoughts!

    Best wishes,
    Natalie

    • — Natalie on November 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Natalie, What type of dark pan is it? Is it heavy?

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2018
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,

      Can I stuff aromatics inside of the turkey…onion, orange, bay leaves? Will that change the cooking time much? Also do you recommend regular roasting or convection roasting. My oven has both functions.

      You are our absolute go to resource for fabulous, never fail recipes…both your website and your terrific cookbook. Thank you!

      Happy Thanksgiving,
      Leslie

      • — Leslie Wilson on November 23, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Leslie, I don’t think the aromatics will change the cooking time much. And I develop and publish all my recipes using the regular/conventional setting as that’s what most people have (so I’d stick with that for the most predicatable results). Enjoy! 🙂

        • — Jenn on November 23, 2019
        • Reply
  • Maybe it’s me, but nowhere do I see what temp to set my oven on. Help!

    • — Mona on November 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Mona, It’s in the first step – 450°F. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2018
      • Reply
  • Jenn – We always roast our turkey on high heat and it is always great and never takes a long time to roast even a very large bird – so I completely agree with you. It is the best way! But I am curious why you say not to use a dark colored pan? We have been using a dark Caphalon roasting pan for years. How will the light colored pan make a difference? Also can the gravy be made gluten free using something other than flour as a thickener? Thanks!

    • — Kathy on November 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Dark metal absorbs and distributes heat more quickly than lighter-colored pans so this can cause the burning/smoking I mentioned. But using a heavy metal pan is the most important thing — and no need to change what works! You could skip the flour and thicken the gravy with cornstarch — just mix it with some water and whisk in at the very end. I’d start with 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with a little cold water til smooth), simmer to thicken, and then add more if necessary. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2018
      • Reply
    • Yes, cornstarch is a lovely way to make gluten free gravy, just make sure it is a brand that claims to be gf. I use Rumford because it has the gf stamp on the container plus it is aluminum free.

      • — Molly Franks on November 14, 2018
      • Reply

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