Turkey Roasting Tips and Techniques


We all have heard the jokes about first-time homemakers cooking the Thanksgiving turkey and having it turn out dried and shriveled.  Or roasting it with the baggie of gizzards still inside the cavity of the bird.  Or perhaps we have done one or both of those things.  Ahem.

It turns out, that roasting a turkey does not have to be difficult.  In fact, if you are doing it correctly it shouldn’t be difficult at all.

I don’t like to call myself cooking challenged, but I kind of am.  Not in the way that I can’t cook, or don’t know how to cook, but rather in the way that I tend to get stuck in my way of doing things. I find it challenging to try new things.   Once I perfect a recipe I will do it the same way, from now until eternity.  Thankyouverymuch.  Amen.  I learned how to roast my Butterball from my mother-in-law using the open pan method, basting it every so often, and then covering it with a little Reynolds Aluminum Foil tent once the skin the turned a perfect golden brown.  My Butterball turkeys have always come out perfect.  I never saw any reason to change my cooking technique.

When I went to Butterball University and learned all about cooking turkeys and found out that I didn’t even need to BASTE my Butterball turkey?  Well, that rocked my world.

Then I heard about the oven bag.  An oven bag?  To cook in?  Why doesn’t it melt?  How does it work?  I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I decided to try it.  An oven bag uses a moist heat method.  The bag traps the heat inside the bag and allows it to cook more evenly. 

The turkey came out wonderful.  It was so incredibly juicy and delicious.  The only drawback to using an oven bag is that the turkey skin doesn’t brown up all golden and pretty like the traditional method.   And you don’t have a pan full of drippings with which to make gravy.  But those are really only minor drawbacks when you consider the benefits of being able to quickly cook up a turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner.



  1. Posted January 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great post. I am dealing with many of these issues as well.

    • Posted January 28, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Houston! Glad we could provide some tips that are helpful! If you need any more turkey advice, we have how-to videos and recipe ideas over at Butterball.com.

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