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12 Rules to Roasting Your Thanksgiving Turkey to Perfection

This year, you can have your Thanksgiving turkey and eat it too. Don’t worry about the perfect centre-of-the-table picture of a roasted bird with its golden skin glistening from hours of preparation. We’ll give you the secret to roasting a turkey that will be sure to impress even your most demanding guests! Also, if you don’t have time to learn the tricks of cooking turkey, you can find good restaurants on

Buy Smart

If you can, buy a fresh turkey. They have great flavour and also don’t take as long to cook because they’re not pumped with water or salt. If your only option is buying frozen, make sure it’s been thawed properly in the fridge, not on the countertop! You want that bird to be cold when you put it in the oven, not room temperature.

Season Well

Most of all you want to soak your turkey, not just sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Make a wet rub by combining olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon juice or white wine vinegar/ If you can find fresh parmesan rinds in your grocery store, add one to the roasting pan. It will infuse your turkey with deep flavour.

Stuff Wisely

Don’t stuff the bird. Stuffing it doesn’t cook properly and you don’t want soggy bread on Thanksgiving! Instead, place a few stalks of celery or rosemary in the cavity along with the stuffing and cook it in a casserole dish on the side. You can also stuff your turkey with cheese or fruit, which is perfect for vegetarians!

Cook at Low Heat

275 degrees F is ideal and don’t forget to remove that pop-up thermometer from inside of your bird. They’re unreliable and come out of the turkey way too soon, which means you have that dried-out underdone bird on your hands. Instead, use a meat thermometer to gauge when it’s done cooking!

Basting is Bunk

Seriously, don’t baste your turkey more than once or twice throughout its cooking time because every time you open the oven you release heat and slow down your cooking time.

Give it Space

Leave a lot of room around the sides and top of the turkey while it cooks so that air can circulate freely for an even cook! This is especially important if you’re using stuffing because otherwise, there won’t be enough airflow to crisp up those delicious edges.

Foil Isn’t Evil

Covering turkey with foil during the cooking process traps steam and creates a moister bird. You can also use the juices in the bottom of your roasting pan to make gravy, instead of having it run off into an oven burner while you’re trying to get crispy skin on top!

Don’t Tent

Don’t cover up your turkey with foil until it’s been in the oven for at least an hour. By waiting, you’ll get a better brown crust on top of your bird! If you really want to keep that skin moist while it cooks, use a silicone garlic brush and rub olive oil all over it every 15 minutes or so.

Remove at the Right Time

Once your turkey is fully cooked, 165 degrees F and no pink in the thighs, remove it from the oven and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before you carve into it. Otherwise, all those juices will run out onto your cutting board instead of staying inside where they should be! Don’t forget to save and reuse all those delicious pan drippings to make gravy.

Plan the Work

It’s never a good idea to try and roast your turkey in an oven that is still heating up from cooking other items, it affects how quickly it will cook, so preheat 30 minutes before you put the bird inside! Make sure you have enough time to roast your turkey and get it on the table for mealtime.

Season Generously

Salt and pepper your turkey liberally, especially if you’re not using a rub. Also consider adding fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary or sage to the cavity of your bird for even more flavour!

Do Not Skip Resting

Don’t slice into that cooked-to-perfection Thanksgiving miracle until it has rested for at least 20 minutes after it’s come out of the oven! You’ve spent all that time cooking and now you want to make sure those juices stay inside where they belong.


There you have it, our top ten tips for roasting the perfect Thanksgiving turkey! We hope these help you plan out your big day and make sure that the ever-so-important centrepiece is cooked to perfection. Happy eating, friends!