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How Cook a Turkey

How to Roast a Turkey

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword butter, turkey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Author Jennie Duncan


  • 15 pound turkey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Preparing your roasting pan with rack and set aside. 

  2. Remove turkey from bag. Remove giblet package, neck, and any clamps that are in your turkey (everything should be on the preparation directions on your turkey packaging). 

  3. Rinse turkey then pat dry and place in a roasting pan. Rub salt and pepper on turkey. 

  4. In a medium saucepan melt 1 stick of butter (keep 1/2 stick cold). Once melted remove from eat and whisk in lemon juice and thyme. Slowly pour this over your turkey in the roasting pan. 

  5. Slice remaining 1/2 stick of butter and place it on top to the turkey. Bake for 3 - 3 1/2 hours. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your turkey. See chart above for suggested cooking time. Turkey is safe to eat when it reaches at least 165 degrees F. I always use a meat thermometer to check and don't rely on the pop up timer that some turkeys come with. 

  6. Once cooked remove from oven and allow to rest on the roasting pan for 20-30 minutes. Add to platter then slice and serve. 

Recipe Notes

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