How to Cook a Turkey in a Gas Oven

turkey is baked in oven
A turkey is baked in a gas oven. (Image: Sergiy Serdyuk/iStock/Getty Images)

Oven-baked turkey is a healthy meal any time of the year. It is full of B vitamins and protein. Turkey is also a healthy meal for diabetics since it is low on the glycemic index. So heat up your gas or electric oven to 450 degrees and bake your friends and family a golden-brown turkey. Serve with your favorite vegetable, a salad and mashed potatoes along with a some cranberry sauce.

Selection and Preparation

Step 1

Select a frozen or fresh turkey that will feed your family and/or guests. Figure on about 1 to 1-1/4 lbs. per person.

Step 2

Thaw out the frozen turkey in its original wrapper in the bottom of the refrigerator for approximately four days. Put it in a pan to catch any leakage. If you don’t have much time for thawing, plastic wrap it and put it in a sink of cold water. Change the water about every 30 minutes until thawed, allowing about 30 minutes per pound. If you are using a fresh turkey, buy it about one to two days before using.

Step 3

Take out the bags with the giblets and rinse out the turkey thoroughly.

Step 4

Put long sheets of aluminum foil, about two and one half times the length and width of the turkey, in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the turkey on top of the aluminum foil.

Step 5

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Step 6

Mix your dry and wet ingredients for your stuffing in a large bowl.

Step 7

Spoon the stuffing mix into the turkey loosely and put the remainder in a small baking pan to cook separately about an hour before the turkey is cooked.

Step 8

Tuck the wings underneath the turkey and close the legs back up and place them in the little holder that is on the turkey.

Step 9

Rub vegetable or olive oil on the turkey and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 10

Close up the aluminum foil from both directions and crimp to keep the juices in. Add more foil on the top of the turkey if necessary. It must be secure so it doesn’t let out the juices.

Cooking Your Turkey

Step 1

Cook your turkey according to its weight, adding another 30 minutes for stuffing. For 8 to 12 lbs., cook 1.5 to 2.25 hours; for 12 to 16 lbs., 2.25 to 2.75 hours; 16 to 20 lbs., 2.75 to 3.35 hours; and 20 to 24 lbs., 3.25 to 3.75 hours.

Step 2

About 30 minutes before it is done, carefully open up the top of the foil so that the steam doesn't burn you. Expose the top of the turkey so it can brown.

Step 3

Check the meat thermometer by placing it on the innermost part of the thigh and the thick part of the breast. When the turkey is done, it should read between 180 and 185 degrees. The internal temperature should read no less than 165 degrees to make sure the stuffing is cooked.

Step 4

Remove the turkey from the oven and recover the top with foil.

Things You'll Need

  • Turkey

  • Pan

  • Plastic wrap

  • Long aluminum foil

  • Stuffing

  • Large bowl

  • Spoon

  • Vegetable or olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • Meat thermometer

Tip

Be sure to wash your hands and anything that has touched the raw turkey thoroughly to prevent bacteria from forming.

If you like the giblets, boil them on low heat while the turkey is cooking and keep adding water. Slice and add to the gravy.

Warning

Do not thaw your turkey out at room temperature, as it allows bacteria to form.

Do not leave stuffing in the turkey.

Do not refreeze a turkey that has been thawed outside the refrigerator. A turkey that has been thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen.

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