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How to Cook a Turkey

Not sure how to tackle turkey dinner? Betty’s got all the basics to make sure you cook the perfect turkey every time.

How to Cook Turkey
Whether preparing a whole turkey or just a turkey breast, the process is easier than you might think and results in a hearty dinner packed with protein. 

Cooking a Whole Turkey
Betty’s here to help you cook the perfect turkey every time. To learn the basics, we’ll walk you through how to make our favorite Herb-Scented Roast Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing. No need to make the stuffing portion if you don’t want to; we just use it as an example of a flavorful turkey with plenty of rosemary, sage and garlic!

  • Tie the legs together with butchers’ string.
  • Season your bird by mixing the herbs together and rubbing them into the skin.
  • Baste.
  • Insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Cover with foil and pop into the oven; see our conversion chart for cooking poultry to verify oven temps and times.
Cooking a Turkey Breast
Cooking turkey for one or two? No problem. Follow these simple steps to make our lovely Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast.

  • Place turkey skin side up on rack in roasting pan with meat thermometer inside.
  • Roast uncovered 1 hour.
  • Mix butter with herbs—in this recipe, that means combining the butter, wine, thyme, salt, paprika and garlic. Brush turkey with half of the butter mixture.
  • Roast 30 minutes; brush with remaining butter mixture.
  • Roast another 1 hour or until thermometer reads 165ºF
Pro Tips:
  • Because cooking times may vary, always make sure your meat thermometer reads 165ºF before removing the turkey from the oven.
  • Always allow a turkey to stand or settle for at least 15 minutes after removing from the oven. This will allow the juices to settle—ensuring moister meat—and also make carving easier.
  • Not sure how to carve and serve your bird? Check out our step-by-step guide on How to Carve a Turkey!