Never cooked a fresh turkey before? Never fear! Here’s our advice.
Cooking a Fresh Turkey
- 1 Fresh Turkey
- Fresh turkeys cook more quickly than frozen turkeys. Fresh turkeys have more moisture and therefore transfer heat more quickly than frozen birds do. You want to be careful not to overcook your fresh turkey.
- Remove the giblets from the cavity and rinse the turkey. You can butter your turkey to aid in the browning process. (Some like to put a little butter and even fresh herbs UNDER THE SKIN of the bird to infuse flavor while cooking. AND, if you don’t stuff your turkey, consider filling the cavity with fresh herbs, onion, celery and carrots for added flavor.)
- Cover turkey loosely with foil. (Foil should be removed for the last hour of cooking so that the skin can brown.)
- Your turkey needs to cook for about 15 minutes per pound at 325°. (Some like to cook the bird breast-side down and then turn it breast-side up halfway through the cooking process. This is said to allow the moisture of the dark meat to drip into and over the breast meat to moisten it.)
- A stuffed turkey needs to cook about 20 minutes longer than unstuffed.
- Test turkey with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. A properly cooked turkey should be 165°.
- Once your turkey is done, remove from oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes before carving.