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Roast Turkey - How to cook a turkey, a lovely roast turkey on a white platter with fresh herbs and sliced lemons
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5 from 6 votes

Roast Turkey

The juiciest Roast turkey ever. This is the perfect Thanksgiving turkey recipe, sure to be the perfect centerpiece to your Thanksgiving menu.
Prep Time20 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time23 hrs 20 mins
Course: Thanksgiving Turkey!
Cuisine: American, Holiday
Keyword: roast turkey, roast turkey recipe
Servings: 1 Turkey
Calories: 5220kcal
Author: Rachael


  • 1 Turkey 12-18lbs
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 red apple sliced
  • 1 spring rosemary
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey stock or apple juice


  • 1.5 heaping cup salt
  • 1.5 gallons water
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 5 lemons washed and quartered
  • 1 Tbs dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbs dried thyme
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic

Herb Butter

  • 4 Tbs softened butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tbs fresh sage chopped fine
  • 1 tsp paprika



  • Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, or until salt and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • Once completely cooled, soak turkey in brine 1.5 hours per pound.
  • Once bird has soaked for required time, remove bird from the brine and rinse well with cold water.
  • Discard the brine.
  • Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel, and be sure to drain the turkey out, there might be some water in the cavity.

Herb Butter

  • Combine all ingredients and mix well
  • Place the bird into the Wonder Cooker's Casserole Pan.
  • At the rear end of the bird, slide your fingers into the space between the skin and the turkey breast. Slowly pry the two apart starting at the rear and working your way up to the neck on the breast side of the bird.
  • Stuff your herb butter into this pocket you have just created, using your hand to rub it around and cover the entire breast.
  • Use the leftover butter mixture that is on your hands, and rub it all over the exterior.

Roast Turkey

  • Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Tuck the wings underneath the bird.
  • Coat the skin liberally with the olive oil. Generously sprinkle the skin with salt and a little pepper.
  • Fill cavity with apple, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.
  • Roast the turkey on the lowest level of your oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to crisp the skin and make it golden brown.
  • After 30 minutes, cover the breast portion of your turkey with a foil hat and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pour 1 cup of liquid of choice into the cavity of the bird.
  • Cook until the thickest part of the turkey thigh reads at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure the thermometer is not touching a bone. (a 14-16 pound turkey usually takes approx. 2.5 hours AFTER the 30 minute high roast)
  • Remove the turkey from oven, let rest 20-30 minutes before carving.


You do not need to baste the turkey, the herb butter mixture will help baste the turkey for you!


Calories: 5220kcal | Carbohydrates: 265g | Protein: 574g | Fat: 211g | Saturated Fat: 70g | Cholesterol: 1983mg | Sodium: 4588mg | Potassium: 7536mg | Fiber: 26g | Sugar: 198g | Vitamin A: 7735IU | Vitamin C: 348.2mg | Calcium: 975mg | Iron: 37mg