Roasting a turkey

Photo of Ala Moana Bowls by Ted Trimmer:

1st ala moana-A 

More photos of Moanalua Valley by Ted Trimmer:

1st bridge moanalua stream-a

1st flower moanalua-A

1st moanalua-A 

Help!  Anybody know how to roast a turkey?  If you have had success producing a JUICY, FULLY COOKED turkey, then please spill the beans and tell me how you did it.  I have attempted this task a total of two times, and both times, the bird was dark brown all over, but still pink at the joints – meaning it was not fully cooked.  Since then, I have celebrated Thanksgiving only at restaurants.

This Thanksgiving will be different.  Pat convinced me to hold the party at my home.  She has offered to bring a spiral ham, and I will again try my hand at roasting the turkey.

I have a lovely platter for the carved turkey.  My recurring nightmare is that the breast meat is bone dry, and the dark meat under cooked.  Aargh!

I am open to suggestions!

20 Responses to “Roasting a turkey”

  1. GA Bows Says:

    Buy a baking bag.

    Once the turkey is defrosted, washed and dried.

    1. Lightly salt and pepper the outside of the turkey.

    2. Mix soften buter, salt, pepper and dried herbs together. Rub the mixture under the skin of the turkey and outside of the turkey.

    3. Follow the instructions on the baking bag for cooking time.

    You’ll get a beautiful and ono turkey for Thanksgiving!

  2. GA Bows Says:

    Sorry for the typos, I’m currently at work doing several things at once.

    The dried herbs that I use are Rosemary and Tyme.
    I also prepare and cook the stuffing seperate. It reduces the cooking time of the Turkey when there’s no stuffing in the cavity

    I’ve done used this method for the past 5 years and it has never failed me or my family & guests.

    By using a baking bag it ensure that the turkey is browned evenly. Whereas if you were to bake it without the bake, you’ll have to use foil towards the ending of its cooking time.

    • gigihawaii Says:

      WOW! Thanks! This method sounds great. I’ll look for the bag, rosemary, and thyme the next time I am at the supermarket.

      Do you insert the butter mixture under the skin on the BACK of the turkey, too, or just on the breast and thighs?

  3. kavita Says:

    Gigi…..i can’t help you here sorry!!!!!heeee….

  4. GA Bows Says:


    All of the places that you mentioned. The butter mixture under the skin to help keep the turkey moist and all over the outisde of it to help brown the turkey evenly.

  5. GA Bows Says:

    No, the bird is placed breast side up.
    I would assume it browns evenly because of the bag… that’s the only thing I can think of.

    Oh, be sure to check the box for the size of the turkey you plan on cooking. I usually cook a 15lbs turkey and use the Reynolds brand turkey baking bag.

  6. L. Says:

    Consider finding out who makes the best to-go turkey with all the trimmings. Preorder your meal now. Then you can send David to pick it up and concentrate on making some thing that you know you do well.

    I get my holiday meals from the Fairmont Hotel. The turkey is cooked by them but it refrigerated. They have directions for heating that accompany the meal. The Prime Rib Roast with all the trimmings is my favorite. That one is hot when you pick it up. There are directions for how to keep it warm till you serve. There must be more than one place in Hawaii with excellent to-go holiday meals.

    These days they you pull up to the lobby and they bring the huge box with your dinner and put it in your car. Long ago I used to find parking at the back of the hotel, go into the restaurant to stand in line and have some coffee and fancy mini pastries. That was before the days of Sept. 11. After that service became much more streamlined and fast.

    • gigihawaii Says:

      I tried the turkey to go one year — from the Hyatt Hotel, I believe. It was pretty good. I might go this route again — if I CHICKEN OUT. haha.

      Nah. This is one challenge that must NOT go unmet. I WILL conquer the bird and serve it in my home.

  7. Quilly Says:

    The Oven Bag will do it. They are made by Reynolds and can be found in the grocery store by the food storage bags. I use these cooking bags for everything and they even work in the crock pot and make clean up a breeze! Also, flavor-wise, instead of using water, you might consider using canned bullion.

    Just be careful of the steam when you open the bag.

  8. LizKauai Says:

    Also- prepare the stuffing and bake it in a casserole dish. Stuff the turkey cavity loosely with a couple round onions, carrots and celery stalks cut in pieces and some dashes of poultry seasoning.

  9. musings Says:

    Gosh, I’m sure glad you asked this question because I’m always agonizing at Thanksgiving. I must look into that oven bag method. I’ve tried doing the brine thing and it was pretty good. You need a giant container to do that though.

    • gigihawaii Says:

      Yes, Pat’s daughter swears by the brine method — soaking the turkey in salty water. But I don’t have a large container. Also, it must be hard not to get the liquid on the floor when you lift the turkey out of the container.

  10. DrumMajor Says:

    Dear Gigi —

    From the land of Oz, with deer and woodsies and gobblers hiding amongst the trees, more so in Missouri, than Kansas, here is how I cook a turkey:

    Don’t buy a “Butterball” — they’re tasty but cost too much.

    Get a big aluminum “throw-away” pan, and set it on a cookie sheet.

    Heat oven to 325 degrees.
    From my 1972 Betty Crocker cookbook:
    if 8-12 pounds, cook 3.5 to 4.5 hours.
    if 12-16 pounds, cook 4.5 to 5.5 hours.
    if 16-20 pounds, cook 5.5 to 6.5 hours.

    I melt butter and get a hospital syringe with a special blunt needle and stab the poor bird in several areas of the breast, injecting 10 cc butter into each spot. I think they have “injectors” in the grocery store, but gee, I can find a syringe any day…..

    Then I salt, papper, garlic rub the outside skin,

    I was taught by a sister-in-law back in 1972, in order to keep the breast meat moist, to cook the turkey upside down, with the back up! I put a bit of water in the aluminum pan and bake it.

    If it starts to turn golden too much, “tent” it with foil. I suppose you could turn it over at some point to make the breast side golden, but that would be tricky flipping a hot bird.

    A meat thermometer placed in the thigh should reach 185 degrees when the bird is done.

    In Kansas, we cook and eat to feed all the farm kids, so “picture perfect” isn’t the point. But the bag idea sounds interesting too.

    I cook my stuffing separate. Oyster dressing was special in my Dad’s family, but I couldn’t figure out why it was so popular in Oklahoma in the ’30s and ’40s. I dislike it.

    Boston Market is open on Thanksgiving Day, and also takes pre-orders.

    One vegetarian relative finds a “tofu turkey” to bake!

    I’ve spent Christmas in Hawaii. For Thanksgiving, I’d find a beautiful Kalua piggie.

    Have fun! DrumMajor

    • gigihawaii Says:

      The time settings are interesting. If I serve the turkey at 1 pm, I need to take it out of the oven at 11:30 am. Which means I need to put it into the oven at 6 am (for a 15 lb turkey). Which means I need to wake up at 5 am to prep the bird.

      I have decided to use the bag method. Sounds simpler.

  11. DrumMajor Says:

    Gigi — talk about another possible mess, some folks here in the corny Midwest have gotten into deep frying whole turkeys! Some are tailgaters before crazy football games. A large cylinder of oil is heated to boiling and the whole bird dipped in and fried.

    Each year, someone burns their garage and house down, overflowing the oil into the flame….

    Be Careful! DrumMajor

  12. lisa Says:

    This is the recipe I used last year. I didn’t use the lemon juice and I did turn the bird over to brown the breast (we have skin eaters in our family). This turned out perfect. Be sure your turkey is thoroughly defrosted and brought to room temperature before roasting.

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