Kittencal's Perfect Roasted Whole Turkey (Great For Beginners)

Prep Time
Cook Time
4h 55m
Ready In

"Here you will find easy step-by-step instructions that will result in the best juiciest turkey you will ever have! 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. Cooking time for this recipe is for an 18-pound stuffed turkey cooked at 325 degrees F but you have the option of stuffing or not. My best advise for a beginner is to use a meat thermometer inserted in the breast area, 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. For my gravy recipe see #recipe52"

Original is 14 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (629.2 g)
  • Calories 742
  • Total Fat - 20.9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 6.2 g
  • Cholesterol - 402.2 mg
  • Sodium - 1197.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 0.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0 g
  • Sugars - 0.5 g
  • Protein - 132.8 g
  • Calcium - 67.2 mg
  • Iron - 5.1 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.3 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, convection oven heat set to 320 degrees F. Set oven rack to lowest position. Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the turkey well with cold water inside and out then pat dry with a paper towel. Place the turkey on a greased rack on a greased roasting pan.

Step 2

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

Step 3

Fill the inside cavity loosley with prepared stuffing (if you are not using stuffing then tie the legs together with cotton butchers twine). Using clean hands rub the outside of the turkey with the oil/butter/garlic mixture.

Step 4

Season the turkey all over with salt and lots fresh ground black pepper. If you are NOT stuffing the bird place breast-side down on the rack, if stuffing leave breast-side up.

Step 5

Place/tent a large piece of heavy foil over the turkey. Place the pan in the oven, then pour about 4-5 cups chicken broth in the pan.

Step 6

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

Step 7

After about 2-1/2 hours of cooking time remove the foil. Keep roasting (325 degrees F) until the internal thermometer reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). The total cooking time for this 18-pound stuffed bird should be about 4 hours.

Step 8

Transfer the cooked turkey to a large serving platter, cover loosley 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!).

Cooking times for whole turkeys cooked at 325 degrees are as follows. 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 --- For an 18-20 pound turkey, roast for 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hours


No special items needed.

16 Reviews


These directions were easy to follow and we had wonderful results. The turkey was very moist and tender and juicy as can be. Perfection!


review by:
(2 Jan 2021)


The meat turned out perfectly cooked, and was super moist and juicy. I stashed this recipe right in the front of my files, to keep it handy for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a five star every time!


review by:
(1 Jan 2021)


I made my first turkey, and thanks to Kittencal my meal was a huge success! Great directions and great results. My hat is off to you!


review by:
(29 Nov 2020)

Java Joanne

My turkey was almost 18 pounds, so I followed this recipe knowing it would be good, and it was amazing! Nice and juicy,and delicious. My go to from here on out.


review by:
(1 Dec 2019)


Super easy, extra moist and delicious turkey!


review by:
(22 Dec 2015)


I'm new to this Thanksgiving meal thing and when I saw this for beginners I decided to trust in Kittencal that she would lead me in the right direction and my turkey was succulent! So juicy we didn't really need gravy even! I will use this method year after year with great success. Why look any further, this is excellent!


review by:
(6 Dec 2015)

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