Never cooked a whole turkey and just received a 14 lb one as a gift. Help? How long, what temp, how to baste? How long to thaw?



Taiyyaba November 23, 2011
If you're feeling adventurous, butterfly the turkey (cut the spine out, score the breastbone from the back, flip it over and press on the breast to flatten it). Then, put a garlic-herb butter under the skin. Roast at 425 for 30 min, then at 375 for 1 hour. (mine was done much earlier, so test the temp - 165-170 at the thigh). Cooking it flat lets it cook evenly and it won't dry out. I did this last eek for an early thanksgiving and it was great!
Merrill S. November 23, 2011
As for basting, there are different schools of thought here too. Some people baste often once the fat starts accumulating in the bottom of the pan, and some people don't believe in it. It's really up to you!
Merrill S. November 23, 2011
There are many different methods for cooking a turkey, and many strong opinions about them all! There are some good general guidelines on thawing and cooking turkey here: I assume you want to cook the turkey tomorrow, so you probably won't have time to brine it. I would just salt and pepper the cavity (don't forget to remove the giblets!) and the skin liberally, and rub the skin all over with softened butter. Put the turkey in a large roasting pan with a rack and put it in the oven at 400F. After half an hour, lower the oven to 325F. A 14-pound turkey should take about 3 hours to cook, and you should cook it until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and thigh (use a meat thermometer to make sure). Then let the turkey rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving. Hope this helps!
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