Originally published November 2020. Reposting due to high demand.  

Today, I share my favorite secrets on How To Make Amazing Thanksgiving Turkey – My Tips And Tricks.

You must know, I WILL be making a turkey this year. It won’t be an elaborate dinner, but still, I like to prepare.

As such, I am already researching some ideas on how to make everything tasty and unique.

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Photo by Vika Fleisher

From my experience, I can share that it’s best to make, as much as possible, ahead. It saves me time and allows me to still enjoy the holiday evening with my family.

Since I’ve moved to the south, I heard that North Carolina people fry their turkeys outside their homes in a particular fryer. I haven’t eaten such a fabulous invention yet, but I hope, one day, I will. I can only imagine the crispy skin on the outside!  

This year, I am debating on making mushroom gravy for my turkey. I’ve found a wonderful recipe on my favorite culinary site. When you get to the link, notice the wonderful reviews by people who’ve already made the gravy, as well as the turkey using this unique recipe.

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Photo by Libby Penner 

Also, I will be preparing my cranberry sauce, side pumpkin dish, and mashed rutabaga with potatoes. Side dishes that are simple, traditional but add enough color not to be boring. I can make some of it ahead and won’t slave over the oven the entire day!

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Photo by Annie Spratt 

Also, on Thanksgiving, we always have to have some traditional European twist! Even though this holiday is not celebrated in Europe. I still like to add an element that brings me back to my childhood days.

As such, our holiday table wouldn’t be complete without a European dessert. Therefore, I will be making a traditional Polish cake made with apples, called Szarlotka. Yum! Watch out for a separate post coming up on how to make this delicious cake!

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 Photo by Hugo Aitken

And, now, without further ado, here are some of my favorite tips and tricks on how to make the juiciest, most flavorful turkey even if you’re not an experienced chef!

Tips & Tricks

  1. Before you put your turkey in the oven, bring it to room temp. This means take it out of the fridge for an hour before you cook it. Trust me on this one!
  2. Start your oven at 425F, roast turkey for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325F. This seals in all the juices first.
  3. To make a super flavorful turkey, baste it every 15 minutes.
  4. A general rule of thumb is to roast the bird 15 minutes per pound but you should still check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer to make sure it is at 160F. Gramma tip: if the leg comes off easily – the turkey is done.
  5. If you’re not using stuffing inside the turkey, put orange and onion, as well as some fresh thyme and rosemary, for a rich flavor.
  6. A cool tip is to butter the turkey under the skin, not on top.
  7. Bonus tip, if you want an extra juicy bird, roast it breast down. Yes, my friends, breast down. Gramma knows this too. 🙂
  8. Before you take the turkey from the oven, flip it, and broil the top to brown the breast. This can be dangerous with a considerable bird, so be careful or skip this step.

Photo by Alison Marras 


Photo by Annie Spratt 

Feature Photo by Libby Penner

How about you? Are you making turkey this year? What’s your secret tip? Comment below. Don’t be shy! 🙂

Happy cooking, decorating, and eating! 

Hungry for more content? Check out – Chocolate Petit Gateaux recipe!