Since this employs the use of a VERY hot oven, make sure your oven is CLEAN before you start to reduce the risk of smoking your family out of the house. Place oven rack on lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Remove all giblets, neck, pop-up thermometer (if there is one) and any trussing. Rinse turkey THOROUGHLY, inside and out with cool water, letting all water drain out of neck and body cavities. Pat dry, inside and out, with paper toweling.
Place on V or U-shaped wire rack in roasting pan, so that turkey doesn’t rest on bottom of pan. First time I made this I didn’t have a rack, so I just slapped it in my grandmother’s old-fashioned blue-enamel roaster pan and it turned out FINE.
Rub entire outside of dried-off turkey with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. I use Kosher salt because it has large, coarse grains.
Pull wing tips AWAY from the body, twist them and tuck them, backwards, under the bird…up by its neck.
Using aluminum foil, form caps over the end of each drumstick. If any parts of the turkey extend beyond pan rim, make a foil “collar” underneath to make sure drippings flow back into pan.
If you want it done in two hours, Do NOT
• tie legs together
• add stuffing, or
• close body cavity
Half-way through cooking time, turn roaster/turkey around to ensure even cooking.
If any part of the turkey becomes too brown during cooking, cover it loosely with foil tent.
Cooking timing chart
(times are approximate)
10-13 lbs. = 50 minutes to 1 1/4 hrs.
13-16 lbs. = 1 1/4 hrs to 1 hour 50 minutes.
16-19 lbs. = 1 1/4 hrs to 2 hrs.
19-22 lbs. = 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs.
22-24 lbs. = 1 1/2 hrs to 2 1/2 hrs.
25+ lbs. = Are you sure it’s not an ostrich you’re roasting? If not, call Guinness Book of Records.
It’s done when internal temp (in breast) is 160 degrees. When done, remove from oven. Cover completely with foil, and let rest 30-45 minutes before carving. The internal temp will continue to rise to the recommended 165 degrees. (If you do not have a thermometer, the old fashioned method was to pull on the leg – if it moved easily, they considered it done.)
After resting, transfer to platter for carving. NOTE* There will likely be a LOT of juices in the cavity, drain them out before transferring the bird to a platter. Save the juices to make gravy or moisten dressing!