We have all sorts of tips and tricks to help you cook your turkey to perfection, but a lot of those tips involve extra steps, or cutting the turkey into pieces before cooking. When you just want a plain, traditional roast turkey recipe, this is our guide on the best way to cook your turkey. By using two little tricks, you’ll end up with a turkey that is evenly cooked and has golden, crispy, delicious skin and still have a beautiful whole turkey to serve in the middle of your table.
Our first trick is to use a ceramic baking stone in the oven to create radiative heat to help cook your turkey evenly. By heating up this stone ahead of time, you’ll create a blast of heat to roast the parts of your turkey that need it the most without cooking the parts that need it the least – like the breast! You then put the turkey on a v-shaped rack to roast to encourage even air flow around the entire turkey. It’s not the absolute best way to cook a turkey, but it works really well!
Our second trick is to use a combination of salt, pepper, and baking powder to season the skin. This helps crisp up the skin for that golden, crunchy treat everyone loves. It’s so simple, but it really helps the overall turkey flavor!
- 1 Turkey (about 10-14 pounds)
- 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Yellow Onion (halved)
- 1 Lemon (halved)
- 3 sprig Rosemary
- 3 sprig Thyme
Set up your oven for turkey roasting by removing all racks except one on the lowest shelf. Place a ceramic baking stone (a pizza stone works great!) on the shelf, and preheat the oven to 500ºF. Let the oven preheat for at least 1 hour before adding your turkey.
While the oven is preheating, prepare your turkey. Remove the giblets from the inside of the turkey, along with any plastic cage, and pop-up timer. Pat the turkey dry. Mix the salt, baking powder, and black pepper together, and generously season the outside of the turkey. Stuff the inside with the onion, lemon, rosemary, and thyme. Let rest at room temperature for up to 45 minutes while the oven is preheating, or alternatively, in the oven overnight.
After the oven has been at 500ºF for an hour, drop the heat to 300ºF. Place the turkey breast side up on a v-shaped rack, and then place it over a foil lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet directly on top of the ceramic stone, and roast until the turkey reaches 150-155ºF in the deepest part of the breast, approximately 3-4 hours total. We recommend using a probe thermometer to monitor the temperature.
After you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. Serve with our made from scratch turkey gravy. Enjoy!