Proper Roasting Time For Perfect Roast Turkey

by William B

Proper Roasting Time

Proper Roasting Time

Turkey is a welcome addition to the dinner table at any time of the year. Although this large, meaty bird is primarily used for holiday meals there is no reason why you should not include it on a more regular basis.

Deep frying can result in crispy skin and moist meat but it also means more calories and fat grams to worry about. The healthiest choice is the roasting technique.

Roasting these large birds is quite easy to do and even a beginner can prepare a delectable, moist and juicy main dish for the family table. There are just a few basics that you need to understand in order to create a mealtime centerpiece that you will be proud to serve.

As a good rule of thumb the usual oven setting for roasting is 350 degrees F.

Here is a chart that shows you how long to roast a whole bird if you are using a roasting pan and oven. These times may need to be adjusted if you are going to use the slightly faster cooking technique of roasting this bird inside an oven roasting bag.

Use the roasting time appropriate for the weight

10-18 pounds

Stuffed - 3 3/4hrs - 4 ½ hrs.

Unstuffed - 3 - 3 1/2 hrs.

18-22 pounds

Stuffed- 4 1/2-5 hours

Unstuffed- 3 1/2- 4 hours

22-24 pounds

Stuffed 5-5 1/2 hours

Unstuffed 4-4 1/2 hours

24-29 pounds

Stuffed- 5 1/2 to 6 1/4 hours

Unstuffed - 4 .5- 5 hours

Even with this chart as a reference guide you should first check the temperature of the meat to be sure that it is cooked thoroughly. The temperature reading of the thigh meat should be 170-180 degrees and the breast meat should register at 170 degrees F. If you have stuffed your bird with dressing this should also be checked and the temperature for the dressing should register 165-170 degrees.

For a healthy, low fat version of roast turkey here is a simple recipe that you may want to use.

10-18 pound bird

3 ½ cups of water

2 cups of sliced onions, oranges and lemons

½ cup of fresh herb seasonings (combine your choice of sage, marjoram, thyme, parsley, rosemary)

Handful of fresh herb sprigs (about 20-30 sprigs of rosemary, sage or other herbs of your choice)

2 teaspoons of ground white pepper

2 teaspoons of lemon pepper

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon of salt substitute

2 teaspoons ground white pepper

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 475°F.

Prepare the bird by removing the neck and giblets and neck. You can reserve these for gravy. Pat the skin with paper towels to dry any excess moisture and place breast-side up on the roasting of a large roasting pan.
Mince the herbs and mix together with the, oil and other seasonings.
Pat this herbal mixture onto the outer skin; underneath the skin; and even rub some on the breast meat.
Place half of the herb sprigs and the sliced oranges, onions and lemons into the interior cavity of the bird.
Tuck the wing tips up under the bird to prevent burning.
Use cooking twine to tie the legs together.
Put the remainder of the herb sprigs and the 3 cups water into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast at 450 degrees F just until the skin changes to a golden brown color which should take 40-50 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and check the meat temperature.
Now protect the tender breast by covering it with two layers of aluminum foil.
Lower the oven temperature to 350° and continue the roasting time for 75-90 minutes. Tilt the pan and let the cavity juices flow into the pan. Add a little more water if necessary to keep the pan from drying out.
The meat will be done when the thermometer reading of the thigh registers 170-180 degrees F.
Place onto a platter, cover with foil and allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Now you can remove the string, garnish the plate and turkey with sliced citrus and parsley. Prepare to carve and serve the succulent meat.

Low Fat Diet

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