Turkey Roasting Instructions

frozen turkeyAbout Your Turkey
Your turkey isn't frozen! Diestel Turkeys come to you intentionally chilled to as cold a temperature as possible without freezing. This guarantees that you take home the absolute freshest, preservative-free bird. Chilling can result in a cold, firm turkey we term "crusted". In preparing for your oven, a firm turkey will easily soften by merely submerging the turkey, in its bag, under cold running water.

Basic Turkey Roasting Instructions
Remove turkey from the bag. After removing neck and giblets from the body cavity, rinse the bird with cold water. Pat cavities lightly with a paper towel. Rub body and neck cavities with salt if desired, and stuff loosely. Truss neck cavity with metal skewer and truss legs.

NYLON TRUSS: To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks. The nylon truss is oven and microwave safe and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 450° F.

THE PASTE OR RUB: Spread exterior of turkey with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made of the following ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp oil, (melted butter, margarine, olive oil, etc.)
  • 4 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Heat oven to 325° F. Place bird in open pan, breast side up. Pour two 8 ounce cups of water in bottom of pan. Place in oven. See table below for suggested roasting times (stuffed turkey). NOTE: If roasting turkey unstuffed then decrease roasting time by approximately 30 minutes. Roasting time may vary as much as 30 minutes due to differences in individual equipment. You may want to check your oven for correct temperature. Please follow roasting times suggested being careful not to over-roast. There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. However, a piece of foil should be placed loosely over the turkey for approximately the last hour of roasting.

    When the turkey is done, the thickest part of the drumstick will feel soft. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

    HEN Weight Roasting Time TOM weight Roasting Time
    6-10 lbs.* approx. 2 hrs. 24-26 lbs. 4 3/4 - 5 hrs.
    10-12 lbs 3 - 3 1/4 hrs. 26-28 lbs. 5 - 5 1/4 hrs.
    12-14 lbs. 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 hrs. 28-30 lbs. 5 1/4 - 5 1/2 hrs.
    14-16 lbs. 3 1/2 - 3 3/4 hrs. 30-32 lbs. 5 1/2 - 5 3/4 hrs.
    16-18 lbs. 3 3/4 - 4 hrs. 32-34 lbs. 5 3/4 - 6 1/4 hrs.
    18-20 lbs. 4 - 4 1/2 hrs. 34-36+ lbs. 6 1/4 - 6 1/2 hrs.
    20-22 lbs. 4 1/2 - 5 hrs.
    22-24 lbs. 5 - 5 1/2 hrs.
    24-26 lbs. 5 1/2 - 5 3/4 hrs.
    Brined Turkey
  • 1 turkey, about 12 pounds

  • Brine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ to 1¾ cups kosher salt
  • 2½ gallons cold water
  • 2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 5 whole allspice berries crushed
  • 4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
  • Roasting
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock, or more as needed
  • Brining Instructions:
    Clean the turkey by removing the giblet bag and any extra internal fat. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine the sugar, salt and 3 to 4 quarts of water in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve, and then add the remainder of the brine ingredients except for the remaining 1½ gallons water. Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials), then put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the doubled bags, pour in the brine, then the remaining 1½ gallons of water - there should be enough liquid to completely submerge the bird. Press out all the air in the bags, and then tightly close each bag separately. Keep the turkey cold with bags of ice, which will also help keep it submerged in the brine. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

    Alternate Method:
    Instead of using an ice chest, place the turkey and brine in a large pan or bowl and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. If the turkey floats to the top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it completely submerged in the brine.

    roasted turkeyRoasting:
    Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and dry well. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over the skin and sprinkle the pepper over the skin and in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under, loosely truss the legs and place the turkey on a V-shaped racking in a roasting pan. Tent the breast with foil and place the turkey in the oven. Roasting note: To assure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate the roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes while the turkey is in the oven. Roast for about 1 hour, remove the foil and baste the turkey with 1½ cups stock. Return to the oven and roast, basting with pan drippings and more stock (if desired) every 20 minutes. Start checking the internal temperature after about 1 hour of roasting time. If the legs begin to get too brown, cover them loosely with foil. Roast the turkey until the internal thigh temperature reaches 165°. Total roasting time should be about 2 to 2¾ hours. Let rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 6 to 8, with leftovers.

    Roasting A Bone-In Turkey Breast
    To prepare simply remove from bag, put in an open roasting pan and roast at 325°F. for approximately 18 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 160°F. Be careful not to over-roast!

    BBQ Turkey
    Barbecued Turkey
    Turkeys are terrific when barbecued. Here are some tips that we have found to be a must to develop that same juicy, tender, flavorful meat when barbecuing a turkey:

    • *Quick reminder: do not stuff a turkey you plan on grilling!
    • Prepare charcoal-covered grill by removing cooking grate and opening all vents.
    • Position drip pan in center of charcoal grate and place 25 to 30 briquettes along each side (lengthwise) of drip pan. Burn briquettes until covered with gray ash, about 30 minutes. Place cooking grate in grill over coals.
    • Prepare fresh or thawed turkey by removing giblets and neck, draining juices and patting dry with clean paper towels.
    • Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place and tuck legs. Brush or spray entire turkey with cooking or vegetable oil.
    • Place turkey, breast up, on cooking grate over drip pan. Cover grill, leaving vents open.
    • Add 6 to 8 briquettes to each side every 45 to 60 minutes.
    Using a meat thermometer, cook turkey to internal temperature of 180°F in thigh and 165°F in breast. A 10 to 16 lb. turkey will take 2 to 3 hours to grill. When done, remove and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

    Carving Your Turkey

    • Remove stuffing. Let the bird rest or 20 minutes, and use a sharp knife.
    • Remove the legs and wings by slicing down into the crevice between the main body and the leg or wing. Grasp the leg or wing firmly and twist and pull while sliding the blade of the knife between the exposed joints to separate.
    • Cut thin slices from the thighs and the legs to serve.
    • The wings can be separated into two parts and served as is.
    • With the bird breast side up on the cutting board slice downward from the breastbone. beginning with the rounds part of the breast and working your way inward toward the bone.

    Safe Poultry Handling

    • Keep the poultry cold right up until the time you cook it.
    • While prepping poultry, wash your hands knives, cutting board and counter thoroughly and often with hot water and soap.
    • Take care that raw poultry or its juices do not come in contact with other foods.
    • Make sure you use your meat thermometer. After the turkey rests, the breast should register 170 degrees F, and the thigh, 180 degrees F.
    • If you are cooking a stuffed bird, make sure the temperature of the stuffing registers at least 160 degrees F.
    • Never stuff a bird in advance. Stuff it just before roasting.

    Old-Fashioned Turkey Gravy:
    After your turkey is done add 6 to 8 ice cubes to juices in pan so fat can surface to be skimmed. Make a flour and cornstarch paste (half and half) with cold water. Combine thoroughly. Add to boiling drippings in pan, stirring to thicken. Season to taste.

    OPTIONAL: When the turkey is half done, heat, DO NOT BOIL, one cup white wine and pour over turkey. This is the secret to a marvelous gravy.

    Or try this... Turkey Gravy

    • ½ cup reserved cooking fats from the turkey
    • ½ cup all purpose flour
    • 4 cups Chicken or turkey stock, homemade or Draeger's (available in Frozen Food section)
    • Any defatted cooked liquids from roasting pan
    • ½ cup or more Madeira Dry
    • Cooked giblets from turkey; skinned & chopped (if desired)
    • ¼ cup or more of crème fraiche (if desired)
    • ¼1/4 cup Draeger's demi-glace
    • Kosher or sea salt to taste
    • Freshly ground Draeger's Telicherry peppercorns to taste

    Remove turkey from oven to allow to cool slightly. Remove turkey from pan using a turkey lifter (Draeger's House wares Department). Pour the remaining contents of pan into a fat separator, (we recommend the Souper Strainer from Draeger's Housewares Department). Reserve roasting pan for later deglazing. Once fat and cooking juices have separated, pour ½ cup of fat into saucepan. Discard remaining fat while reserving all cooking juices. Heat the ½ cup of fat using moderate flame and whisk in flour. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes. Whisk in stock and reserved cooking juices. Put reserved roasting pan over a high flame, stir in Madeira, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Cook for a few minutes. Then whisk in the contents of the saucepan and the demi-glace. Cook gravy 10 minutes stirring often until fairly thick. Stir in giblets and crème fraiche, if using, and cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.