Preparing a Whole Turkey

Thawing

Cleaning

Seasoning

Thawing

Leave the turkey in its original wrapping and place it on a tray in your refrigerator. Allow five hours of defrosting time per pound. For example, a 14-19 lb. turkey will need 3-4 days to thoroughly defrost. If your turkey hasn't completely thawed by the time you're ready to cook it, place it under cold, running water to accelerate the thawing process.

Suggested Refrigerator Thawing Times
for Whole, Frozen Turkey

Turkey # Size Thawing Time
in Refrigerator
8-12 lbs. 1-2 days
12-16 lbs. 2-3 days
16-20 lbs. 3-4 days
20-24 lbs 4-5 days

If you need to quick-thaw your turkey, leave it in its original wrapping and place it in COLD water. The water must be changed every 30 minutes. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound using this method.

Suggested Cold-Water Thawing Times
for Whole, Frozen Turkey

Turkey Size Thawing Time
in Cold Water
8-12 lbs. 4-6 hours
12-16 lbs. 6-8 hours
16-20 lbs. 8-10 hours
20-24 lbs. 10-12 hours

Cleaning

Check the roasting guide below and preheat your oven to 325° F. Release the legs from the metal clamp. The neck and giblets should be removed from the body and neck cavities. Rinse the turkey both inside and out with cool water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Seasoning

Now it's time to flavor and season your turkey. Start by adding 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to the inside cavity. Next, if you like, fill cavity with sliced aromatic vegetables and citrus such as onions and lemons. This will help flavor the turkey. You can also add fresh herbs such as sage, parsley and rosemary as well as garlic cloves for great taste. These will not be edible and will need to be discarded after cooking.

When you're done, place the legs back into the clamp and tuck the wing tips under the back of the turkey.

Next, brush the turkey with oil or melted butter, vegetable oil or olive oil will work. This will help brown the turkey and allow the seasoning to stick. We suggest seasoning with salt and pepper; however you can use anything you prefer.

Place the turkey, breast side up, in a shallow, 2-inch deep roasting pan.

Your turkey is now ready for the oven.