clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A roasted turkey leg dinner.

How to Cook a Turkey: Classic Recipe for Roast Turkey

5 from 8 reviews


How to cook a turkey, the easy, accurate way


  • 1 turkey, thawed until no part of the bird is colder than 30°F (-1°C)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oil, butter, or rendered fat


The day before you cook the turkey—dry brine: optional but highly recommended. 

  • Unwrap the turkey and remove the neck and giblets, if present. 
  • Place the turkey on a rack set in a rimmed baking tray. 
  • Liberally coat the skin of the turkey with kosher salt and season it with pepper.
  • Place the turkey, unwrapped, in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf. Let it sit overnight. 

The day of the cook

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)
  • Dry the skin with paper towels if it is damp, or if you didn’t dry brine it. 
  • Rub the skin well with oil or rendered fat. 
  • Place a handful of aromatics in the cavity of the turkey. 
  • If you didn’t dry brine, season the skin well with salt and pepper. 
  • Probe the turkey in the deepest part of the breast with the probe from a ChefAlarm. Set the high-temp alarm for 157°F (69°C).
  • Place the turkey in the oven and cook for 1 hour. 
  • Turn your oven’s temperature down to 325°F (163°C), open the door briefly to vent heat. 
  • Continue to cook the turkey until the high-temp alarm sounds. 
  • Verify the temperature with your Thermapen ONE. If you find a lower temp than 157°F (69°C), move the ChefAlarm probe to the cooler spot and continue to cook. 
  • If the Thermapen gives the appropriate pull temp, remove the turkey from the oven. 
  • Allow the turkey to rest on the countertop for about 30 minutes. Don’t worry, it will still be plenty hot!
  • Carve and serve!