How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey Testimonials Page 15

  • Thanks for your helpful site as a first-timer to cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving. I just wanted to let you know that I followed all of your instructions for my 13 lb. thawed turkey and instead of taking the 4hrs. 20 min you said it should have taken, it took over 7 hours and that's only because I had to turn up the temperature on the oven to finish cooking it that day. The low, low temp of 250° seemed eternal and would never have gotten cooked in the 20 min/lb that you mentioned. Just wanted to let you know my experience. The rest of the advice was great!
    Happy Holidays, Allison G. 11/26/12

    Comment: Hi, Allison. 20 minutes /lb. at 250° has always worked for me and for the overwhelming majority of the people who use this recipe.
  • Your method is fantastic! I have used it four times and it always works. I read the negative comments, and wanted to add yet another positive one. The last time I cooked the turkey, I did what you said not to do, and thawed it in water. I think the turkey was room temp when I started and this caused it to reach and internal temp of 190 about an hour early. It was still great though. I thought I might recommend putting a starting out-of-refrigerator temp on your sight, so that maybe people would be more aware of whether their turkey is fully thawed or too warm. Some refrigerators are colder than others and some spots in the same refrigerator are colder than others. So a 4 day thaw time in the top of your fridge might not be enough. Just a suggestion and thank you for your sight.  Josh L. 12/9/12
  • I wanted to let you know I've used this method for the last 3 years and the turkey has always turned out perfect.
    I was reading the negative reviews and I wanted to share my thoughts on the undercooked turkeys.  The first year I tried your recipe my turkey was not thawed all the way, 14 lb turkey was in the fridge for 5 days and was still frozen in the middle.  I resolved this by soaking it in a sink of cold water for a few hours prior to cooking, the result was still excellent.  I also break the leg joint prior to cooking so the heat permeates the joint and you don't get a bunch of red bloody meat there.

    I have a feeling that the "thawing times" may need to be adjusted for those people that keep their fridge colder than normal (as I do).  I now have my turkey in the fridge for 7-9 days prior to the meal and this cooking method works great every time.
    Thanks! Jeremy S. Vancouver, WA 12/24/12
  • Thanks! Your page was awesome! My wife overcooked the thanksgiving turkey and everyone was disappointed. So, being a guy and a better cook, I wanted to make sure my turkey was perfect and it was thanks to your how to cook thanksgiving turkey! I pulled the turkey out of the oven and my wife already started in about how the turkey looked dry. I know it wasn’t based on my cooking skills. I just couldn’t wait to prove her wrong. It was tender and juicy and was a big hit! Thanks Jon S. 12/24/12
  • What an incredible step-by-step instruction on turkey cooking.  This was so simple that I honestly do not think you could mess this up.  The hardest part was separating the skin from the breast... which took all of about 3 minutes.  The turkey, which was 16.32 pounds, was so moist that I really did not need to use my electric knife.  I only did because it was a Christmas gift.  The entire family loved it and wanted to know my secret.  Maybe I will let them know when Thanksgiving comes around  :). 
    Thank you so much for sharing this cooking instruction. Rich E., 12/27/12
  • Thank you very much for taking the time to share your techniques.  My turkey was absolutely perfect. Bar None best I have ever eaten.  I didn't have any fresh seasoning just did exactly what you instructed. never basted never opened the door till it was time to check temp. and it was done. to perfection. Juiciest white meat Ive ever put to my lips. Thanks again. Melvin S., 12/29/12
  • I've been following this recipe for some time now. I'm on about my fifth Turkey. I don't even use the thermometer (Russian Roulette), but I've had nothing but great Juicy turkeys ever since! I always slice the breast open before I remove from oven to check and see if it looks done deeper in the meat. It's January and I'm cooking one now just for dinner. I would never go back to the high heat cooking style! Billy V., 1/8/13
  • I just want you to know that this Christmas was the third time I have used your method and I will never use another way! I can't imagine how so many on your complaints page had failures unless they didn't completely thaw their turkeys or just skipped over the 475* part. I do always brine my turkeys, and I highly recommend it. But when brining, you have to remember that it takes less time to cook, so check it at least an hour before you expect it to be done. I usually cook about a 20 pound turkey, and sometimes bigger, because we have a big family and news of my awesome turkeys has spread, so we always have extras coming over. Thank you so much for this excellent site! Carla D., 1/12/13
  • Rave reviews. I am visiting my daughter in Hawaii and she pleaded for a turkey dinner.  I have been cooking turkeys for over 40 years and I have say that this was not only the prettiest but also the juiciest bird yet!! (And this in an apartment oven, no fancy pans or gadgets) Thank you!!! Patricia G., 8/11/13
  • I do not know if you are still monitoring this site, but thought I would provide some insight for some of those who had issues with the timing of their turkey. I discovered the slow cook method for cooking turkey when I was 21. I have used it every year since with not one missed step and the bird usually turns out with the meat just falling off the bones and melting in your mouth like butter.

    I read the turkey disaster page and noticed that no one mentioned the setting of the rack, nor is that crucial element mentioned anywhere in your directions. If the rack is too low, the bird will take longer to cook, place the rack too high and the bird will overcook.

    So, middle rack for medium sized birds, one level lower for anything over 20 pounds.

    You asked for feedback on free-range turkeys. I swear by them. I have roasted a butterball turkey with this method and it was good, but once I tried a free-range turkey and tasted the difference, it was a no brainer. A free-range, never frozen bird tends to cook a little faster than a thawed bird but only by about 30 minutes... and because the heat is so low, leaving in for an additional 30 minutes has never robbed any of my birds of their moisture.
  • I just wanted to let you know that I have been using your recipe for 3 years now, and every time I have had a turkey that has people talking for months after. I thank you so much, it even shut my mother-in-law up! ;) Honestly though, I am amazed at how perfect it comes out, every time. Ive even varied a few things (like the stuffing, I do apples, brown sugar and pears) and have been pleased with the outcome every single time. I appreciate you sharing your secrets with us! Keep up the great work! Nastassja Huffman 11/18/13
  • Hi, I had Thanksgiving at my house 2 years ago and I used your recipe.  That was the most delicious turkey I have ever eaten.  I do have to say that it got done about 2 hours early, but I let it rest in the roasting pan with the lid on for about an hour, and then carved it and put it back in the juices until everything else was ready.  It was juicy and flavorful.  I am planning Thanksgiving to again be a success thanks to your recipe.  I used a very old, heavy roasting pan and we are at high altitude.  Everyone was happy.   Teresa Ingebrigtsen 11/19/13
  • The way I started slow cooking a turkey was the fact I always had to work on Thanksgiving. If I cook it the regular way I would either be eating at midnight or have to forget about it. So, I was hunting around looking for either a faster way or something and ran across this.  I would prepare everything the night before put the turkey back in the fridge get up earlier put it in the over form about 30 min. at 425° (Extra time Turkey was cold and high altitude (Colorado)) once I left for work I had reduced the Temperature to 250° so by the time I got home it was done. The only complaint I ever got was my roommate calling me and asking when is it going to be done!  The aroma was killing him  :-)  I always cover mine with foil but slow cook is the way to go! T.J.F. 11/23/13
  • I LOVED your method of cooking turkey. I made this last year a few weeks before thanksgiving with a small turkey and it turned out very moist and so good. I cooked another turkey in thanksgiving for the whole family, it did not turn out as good. It was very dry, BUT, it was totally MY fault. I guess it was the pressure of cooking my first thanksgiving dinner but I read the thermometer wrong and ended up over cooking it. Maybe that's why some people have over cooked birds. (I even cooked mine about an hour longer because I thought it wasn't done....when really it was). I was googling everything trying to find your method again this year and I thought I wasn't going to find it and started to freak out a bit. But after over an hour of searching, I finally found it! Thank goodness!
    Lauren C. from Kentucky 11/25/13
  • I want to thank you for your website and making Thanksgiving so memorable. I have a recipe to share and a question to ask. My mother put butter under the skin but we also make a rub of fresh chopped garlic on the outside, sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, I also add a touch (less is more) of Bell's Poultry Seasoning to the butter mixture. The second thing I do is rub the inside with the butter mixture and stuff the cavities with green apples, onions, and one orange. This gives a slight hint of a cider flavor to the drippings which makes the most incredible gravy regardless of whether you prefer dark or milk gravy.

    As an aside, we NEVER had Turkey Soup as leftovers. We always had Turkey Sour Cream Enchiladas and mother's recipe is very close to one published years ago in the Sunset Magazine archives and can be found on their website. Whether you use red sauce or green it doesn't matter, I prefer the green tomatillo sauce... but it's a fun item to make that is a break from traditional leftovers. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Reina Q., Reno Nevada 11/27/13

    Comment: It sounds wonderful! I just want caution people about placing stuffing in the turkey. I don't recommend that because it affects the cooking time in unpredictable ways and can cause the turkey to not get fully cooked.