How to roast a tender, juicy whole turkey every time
There’s no wrong way to enjoy turkey, but there’s a wrong way to prepare it. (Trust us; we’ve been doing this a long time.) We’ve fine-tuned our family recipe over the past 70 years to produce a tender, juicy, flavor-packed bird every single time. But don’t worry—it shouldn’t take you nearly that long.
Now things really heat up.
*Our birds are deep chilled, never frozen. However, if your bird’s been in the freezer, be sure it’s fully thawed before cooking.
Put your bird in the preheated oven and check the chart below for its approximate roasting time. If your bird is unstuffed, then you’re in luck: take 30 minutes off the cook time listed below.
If you’ll be making gravy from the drippings, heat (don’t boil) 1 cup of white wine on the stovetop and pour it over your turkey halfway through roasting. You’ll thank us later.
The longer it’s in the oven, the more quickly the internal temperature of your bird will rise, so use a thermometer to keep an eye on it to avoid over-roasting. Don’t worry about turning your bird as it roasts; it will brown to a rich, golden, dare we say irresistible color. If you’re worried you’re overdoing it, cover your turkey loosely with a foil tent.
While your turkey roasts, set the table. After a few hours with an oven that smells this good, you and your guests won’t want to wait to dig in any longer than you have to. But a little anticipation never hurt anybody, so cover your bird and let it stand for 15 minutes before carving.
If your bird is unstuffed, then you’re in luck: take 30 minutes off the cook time listed below.*
Approx. Roasting Time
2 - 2.75 hrs
2.75 - 3.5 hrs
3.5 - 3.75 hrs
3.75 - 4 hrs
4 - 4.5 hrs
4.5 - 5 hrs
Approx. Roasting Time
5 - 5.25 hrs
5.25 - 5.5 hrs
5.5 - 5.75 hrs
5..75 - 6.25 hrs
6.25 - 6.5 hrs
*On the other hand, you’re going to be missing out on stuffing.
Give your turkey a tasteful rub-down with our family’s favorite simple rub by making a paste with the following ingredients:
We chill our turkeys in small tanks of ice (not re-chilled water) prior to bagging, and each tank is filled with fresh, clean ice water. Once they’re in the bag, our birds are held as cold as possible without freezing.
Diestel Family Ranch doesn’t use preservatives or additives, so chilling the turkey is our way of preserving the bird’s wholesomeness naturally. If your bird feels cold and firm, that’s on purpose: this “crust” helps to keep the bird fresh while on your way home from the grocery store—even if you have to make that unplanned, last-minute stop at the who-knows-what.
The nylon truss that comes with your turkey helps to keep everything together during roasting. It’s oven and microwave safe up to 450º F. To remove it, simply lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks. To put it back, do the same in reverse.