24 November 2008

How to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey

This post will show you how I prepare the guest of honor...

photo of a cooked turkey

What you will need

Turkey...any size, we usually get between 20-25 lbs.
Turkey bag...used in the baking process
Turkey Pan
Meat Thermometer (the kind that can be read from outside the oven. Has a probe and then a cable that leads to the thermometer).
Flour...1 Tbsp
Compound Butter...Click here for recipe
Onions...any leftover from other recipes
Celery...any leftover from other recipes
Herbs...any leftover from other recipes

Cooking the Bird

  • First remove the surprise packages in the neck and the body cavity
  • Wash the bird inside and out
  • Remove the pop-up thermometer
    • These things are set to pop at 185°. Your bird will continue to cook while resting and the final internal temperature will be around 195° or more. This will give you a turkey that is less moist than I prefer. I use my own thermometer and remove the turkey at about 165° to 170°, which will give you a nice, moist turkey that is also well-cooked (final temperature around 175° to 180°).
  • Take the Turkey bag and put the flour inside it, then shake to coat the bag
  • Work your fingers between the skin and the breast on both sides...making a cavity
  • Take the compound butter, slice it, and insert in the cavities you created
  • Once the cavities are filled, cut the oranges in half and squeeze juice over the turkey
  • Place used oranges inside the body cavity
  • Place a few slices of your compound butter inside
  • Place any extra herbs, onions, celery, etc, inside the body cavity
    • These are used ONLY as aromatics and are NOT to be eaten
    • These additions will help flavor the turkey as it bakes
  • Place the bird in the turkey bag, cut of few slits in the bag, and place on pan
  • Insert thermometer, through the bag, into the thickest portion of the bird
  • Place the turkey in the oven and cook according to the directions
  • When the thermometer reaches 165°- 170° remove the turkey and let rest at least 30 minutes
    • Your turkey will continue to cook and carry-over will continue to raise the temperature an additional 10 degrees
  • Remove aromatics and discard
  • It will looked burned where the compound butter was placed, but believe me, it isn't
  • You should end up with a nice, moist turkey with a great flavor

Here is a thermometer like the one I use. Very good and versatile...



  1. Great recipe. I love the idea of adding the oranges. I'll bet that gives it a wonderful taste. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

  2. We think we should just move in with you!!

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

  3. I'm with Sniffie! I'll bet your turkey is plain old delicious!

  4. Thanks for the recipe. I might have to give it a try this year. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  5. Sounds like a fantastic recipe! Want to come to Texas and cook one for us? I'll settle for Christmas since I know Thanksgiving is kinda short notice!

  6. Dori:

    Gandalf and Grayson: It gives it a slight orange flavor which compliments the turkey.

    Furkidsmom: Koko does need some playmates:)

    Lux: Thank you:-)

    Melissa: You're welcome. I know you'll love it. Have a great Thanksgiving:)

    Laurie: No problem, but I get to go to a real bar-b-que:-)

  7. Ahhhh!!

    Thanks a lot for your recipes but even more for the pictures of Koko !!!!!!!!! He is so lovely !!!!!!!!!

  8. Gaolga: You're very welcome. Koko is going to be getting a big head from all these compliments:)

  9. Gandalf and Grayson25 December, 2010 15:34

    Mmmm. This is very different from how Mom cooks it, but you still have our attention!

    Edited to remove dead link. Comment originally published on...

    25 November, 2008 03:39


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