Kittencal's Whole Roasted Turkey

Prep Time
Cook Time
2h 45m
Ready In

"Cooking the turkey breast-side down will create a tender juicy turkey without brining or using other methods,  if you are stuffing the turkey you will need approximately 8 cups of prepared stuffing for an 18-pound turkey, the cooking time for this recipe is for an 18-pound stuffed turkey cooked at 325 degrees F if you are cooking the turkey unstuffed then cooking times will be slightly shorter,  you have the option of stuffing or not, and my best advise for a beginner is to use a meat thermometer inserted in the breast area away from any large bone this way you will be assured that your turkey is cooked to the proper temperature, you can cover the uncooked stuffed turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight and just pop it in the oven the following mid-morning or whenever you are ready to cook the turkey, make certain that you have lots of chicken broth handy for this recipe as you will most likely need to keep adding more into the pan while cooking, see cooking times on the bottom for whole turkeys. See my #recipe52 _________________________________________________________________ Cooking times for whole turkey cooked at  325 degrees F: For an 8-12 pound turkey, roast for 2-3/4 to 3 hours. For a 12-14 pound turkey, roast for 3 to 3-3/4 hours. For a 14-18 pound turkey, roast for 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 hours. Cooking time for whole turkeys cooked at 325 degrees F. For an 18-20 pound turkey, roast for 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hours."

Original recipe yields 12-15 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (733.4 g)
  • Calories 860.8
  • Total Fat - 24.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 7.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 469.3 mg
  • Sodium - 2121.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 0.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0 g
  • Sugars - 0.5 g
  • Protein - 154.3 g
  • Calcium - 78.6 mg
  • Iron - 5.9 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.3 mg

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degree F.

Step 2

Set oven rack to lowest position.

Step 3

Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity.

Step 4

Rinse the turkey well with cold water inside and out then pat dry with a paper towel.

Step 5

Place the turkey on a rack on a roasting pan.

Step 6

In a small bowl mix together the melted butter with oil (I also like to add in 1 teaspoon garlic powder with the oil/butter mixture if you are a garlic-lover then use it).

Step 7

Fill the inside cavity loosely with prepared stuffing (if you are not using stuffing then tie the legs together with cotton butchers twine).

Step 8

Using clean hands rub the outside of the turkey with the oil/butter/garlic mixture.

Step 9

Season the turkey all over with salt and lots fresh ground black pepper.

Step 10

If you are NOT stuffing the bird place breast-side down on the rack, if stuffing leave breast-side up.

Step 11

Place/tent a large piece of heavy foil over the turkey.

Step 12

Place the pan in the oven, then pour about 4-5 cups chicken broth in the pan.

Step 13

Keep basting the turkey about every 30-40 minutes with the pan juices on the bottom of the pan (removing the foil and re-tenting every time you baste).

Step 14

If you see the juices starting to evaporate then add in more broth to the pan about 2 cups at a time.

Step 15

After about 2-1/2 hours of cooking time remove the foil, then continue roasting (325 degrees F) until the internal thermometer reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).

Step 16

The total cooking time for this 18-pound stuffed bird should be about 4 hours.

Step 17

Transfer the cooked turkey to a large serving platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest 30 minutes before carving (do not slice the turkey before 30 minutes or all juices will flow out of the bird!)

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



Very good and moist turkey! I did stuff the turkey using packaged stuffing, so I cooked it breast side up. We all enjoyed the turkey cooked this way. Thanks for sharing!

review by:
(26 Dec 2021)

Donna The Cook

I was looking for a way to make a juicy turkey and this is it! Our turkey was really moist and full of flavor. My "go to" from now on.

review by:
(5 Jan 2021)


My turkey was moist and dripping juices when I started slicing it. We loved how juicy and delicious it was. I will use this recipe again!

review by:
(7 Dec 2020)


Cooking my turkey using this recipe resulted in a very moist and delicious turkey. I will make mine this way using the breast down method from here on out.

review by:
(23 Nov 2018)


The turkey is so moist and delicious cooked this way. I had a 17 pound turkey so I just subtracted about 15 minutes from the cooking time. I will make my turkey like this many times!

review by:
(2 Dec 2013)


My turkey was almost 20 pounds so I adjusted the cooking time slightly. I also brined my turkey using your recipe and my turkey was so moist between the brine and using this recipe. What a great turkey it was and so moist too!

review by:
(1 Dec 2012)