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Release turkey legs from clamp (if applicable); remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities.
Season cavity with spices of your choice (salt, pepper, mirepoix, thyme, etc). Coat evenly with 2-3 Tbsp of basting oil. Re-clamp legs (if applicable).
Place turkey, breast-side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Tuck wings under back of turkey.
Preheat oven to 325°. Roast until turkey reaches 165°. Roasting times for an unstuffed turkey:
8-12 lbs - 2½ to 3¾ hours
12-16 lbs - 3¾ to 5 hours
16-20 lbs - 5 to 6 hours
20-24 lbs - 6 to 7¼ hours
24-28 lbs - 7¼ to 8½ hours
Check for doneness. Oven temperatures may vary. Use a thermometer to ensure that turkey is fully cooked to 165°. Insert thermometer into thickest part of the inner thigh, at junction where the leg connects to the body of the bird (but not touching the bone).
Rest your turkey for 30 min after roasting to allow the juices to stay in the meat.
Frozen Turkey Thawing Tips: If you choose a frozen turkey, here are three common (and safe) ways to thaw it:
Keep refrigerated after thawing.
Chef Tip: Use a foil tent over turkey to prevent excess browning. Remove foil tent about 45 min before end of suggested roasting time, baste turkey with drippings.
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.
Rest. Transfer turkey to clean cutting board, breast side closest to you. Let rest 30 min.
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 widest part of segment, slice, holding knife at slight angle and securing meat with fork as you slice. Slide knife blade along the fork's tines for even slices.
How much to buy: For whole turkey, 1 lb per person. For turkey breast, ½ lb per person.
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