Roast Turkey - Martha Stewart Cheesecloth Method

Prep Time
Cook Time
3h 45m
Ready In

"I made this last year for Thanksgiving and it came out moist and delicious. This is another no brine method. I actually used 1/2 wine and 1/2 chicken broth instead of all the wine). Cook time is approximate . Martha recommended cooking until the thigh reaches 180F but since publication of her book, the recommended temperature has been reduced to 165F. Cooking timing is approximately 10-15 minutes per pound but this varies of course."

Original recipe yields 7-12 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (1132.1 g)
  • Calories 1545.1
  • Total Fat - 60.3 g
  • Saturated Fat - 30.8 g
  • Cholesterol - 761.4 mg
  • Sodium - 1879.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 3.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.2 g
  • Sugars - 1.7 g
  • Protein - 220.6 g
  • Calcium - 132.1 mg
  • Iron - 8.7 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.5 mg

Step 1

Rinse the turkey inside and out with cool water and dry with paper towels- let stand 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 450F with the rack on the lowest level.

Step 3

Combine the melted butter and wine in a large bowl, fold a large piece of cheesecloth in quarters then cut a 17", 4 layered square, immerses the cheesecloth into the wine/butter mixture and let soak.

Step 4

Place the turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a metal roasting pan, remove the popup timer ( if its there), fold the wing tips under the turkey, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper inside the turkey, If stuffing the turkey, do now, tie the legs together with kitchen string, fold the neck flap under.

Step 5

Rub the turkey with softened butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, lift the cheesecloth out of the liquid( reserve some liquid), spread it evenly over the breast and over the sides ( it can cover some of the leg area).

Step 6

Place the turkey in the oven and cook for 30 minutes the using a pastry brush , baste the cheesecloth and exposed parts of the turkey with the reserved butter wine mixture .

Step 7

Reduce the oven temperature to 350F and continue to cook, basting every 30 minutes, for 2 1/2 hours more, watch the pan juices, if the pan gets too full, remove some juice, reserving for gravy.

Step 8

Carefully remove and discard the cheesecloth, Baste the turkey with juices and/or butter wine mixture ( if some is left), cook until and instant read thermometer inserted in the thigh reaches 165 ( the stuffing temperature needs to be 165 as well).

Step 9

When fully cooked, remove from the oven and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

Tips & Variations

  • Cheesecloth, pastry brush, roaster with rack