Roasting and Carving Turkey

Cooking Instructions

You’ll Need:

  • Fresh Turkey
  • Herbs & Seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Mirepoix, Thyme, Garlic Herb Seasoning Shak’r, etc)
  • Wegmans Organic Basting Oil
  • Large roasting pan with rack
  • Digital thermometer

What size turkey do I buy?

  • For whole turkey – 1 lb per person
  • For turkey breast – ½ lb per person


Release turkey legs from oven-safe clamp (if applicable); remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities. Tuck wings under back of turkey.


Season cavity with your choice of herbs and seasonings (salt, pepper, mirepoix, thyme, Garlic Herb Seasoning Shak’r, etc.). Drizzle outside of turkey with basting oil; season. Re-clamp legs (if applicable).


Preheat oven to 325°. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in shallow roasting pan. Cover turkey loosely with a “tent” of aluminum foil.

Roast, using times listed on chart. About 45 min before end of suggested roasting time, remove foil tent; baste turkey with drippings. Roast until internal temp of turkey is 165°. Check internal temp by inserting digital thermometer into thickest part of inner thigh area where leg connects to body of bird – but not touching the bone.


Let turkey rest 30 min before carving.


  • Covering turkey loosely with a foil tent eliminates the need to baste during cooking and prevents excessive browning
  • Allowing the turkey to rest before carving allows the juices to stay in the meat and makes for a moist turkey.
  • Increase cooking time by 15-20 minutes if cooking turkey stuffed. Be sure stuffing temp also reaches 165 degrees.

Roasting Time (Unstuffed Turkey)

8-12 lbs   – 2¾ to 3 hours
12-14 lbs – 3 to 3¾ hours
14-18 lbs – 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18-20 lbs – 4¼ to 4½ hours
20-24 lbs – 4½ to 5 hours

Frozen Turkey Thawing Tips: If you choose a frozen turkey, here are three common (and safe) ways to thaw it:

  • Refrigerator—Thaw 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey.
  • Cold Water—Thaw 30 minutes/pound of turkey. Completely submerge wrapped turkey, breast side down, in a large container filled with cold water. Replace water every 30 minutes. Wash container thoroughly with hot, soapy water after thawing.
  • Cooler Method—Thaw approximately 1 hour/pound of turkey. Place wrapped turkey in a large cooler. Close cover during thawing time. Wash cooler thoroughly with hot, soapy water after thawing.

Keep refrigerated after thawing.

how to cook turkey

Carving Instructions

Carving a full turkey is easy if you follow our step-by-step technique.

1. Mise en Place

  • Set up carving station in kitchen (not at the table) to keep the mess contained.
  • Place a damp kitchen towel under your clean, sturdy carving board to help keep it from sliding around.
  • Make sure your knife is very sharp and long enough to slice across full width of meat to be carved.
  • Have ready a long-pronged fork to steady meat as you carve and a clean platter to receive slices.

2. Rest. Transfer turkey to clean cutting board, breast side closest to you. Let rest 30 min.

3. Carve Turkey Segments

  • Breast meat:Steady bird with long, 2-pronged fork. Make 2 long cuts on either side of breastbone; let knife follow curve of ribcage. Separate meat from bones. Use fluid motions, let knife do the work.
  • Drumsticks and wings: Release drumsticks from restraints. Making long smooth cuts, slide knife along close to the bone, following ribcage and wishbone curves.
  • Angle knife down along wishbone sides, cutting through cartilage to separate wings and legs from body.
  • Separate drumstick from thigh: You’ll see a natural “seam.” Make a straight cut, parallel to the drumstick bone.

Slice & Serve

  • Transfer thighs to platter, work knife along bone to separate meat.
  • Slice breast meat: Place skin side up, lengthwise. Starting at thinnest part of segment, slice using long strokes for a cleaner cut, holding knife at slight angle and securing meat with fork as you slice. Choose a longer-blade knife for ease of cutting.
how to carve turkey

Roasting Turkey Recipes