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10 Tips for the Perfect Turkey


Serve the perfect holiday turkey with these simple tips from our Omaha Steaks chef team. A delicious turkey takes a little planning and the right mix of seasoning, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can create an awe-inspiring golden brown and delicious turkey that is sure to impress.

10 Turkey Cooking Tips from Chef Stacie


1. Give your turkey time to thaw.

Frozen turkeys take at least 3 days to thaw completely. Plan at least 24 hours for every five pounds.

  • Chef’s Tip: Once turkey has thawed, remove turkey from packaging. Do not rinse the turkey. Refrigerate on a rack uncovered for 24 hours. This will dry out the skin and allow you to get GBD – golden brown and delicious aka the beautiful browned, crispy skin.

2. Preheat oven to 350°.

Make sure your oven rack is in the center for a 10-12 pound turkey.

3. Liberally season turkey inside and out.

  • Chef’s Tip: Place aromatics, including garlic, onion (keep peels on this adds color and richness to the drippings), citrus, celery, and carrots inside the turkey cavity.

4. Rub turkey down liberally with olive oil or butter.

  • Chef’s Tip: Soften a stick of butter and rub butter all over the turkey, loosening skin over turkey breast rubbing butter up under the skin. You can also put fresh herbs under the skin for additional flavoring.

 5. If desired place turkey in a roasting bag.

  • Chef’s Tip: If you want a turkey with crispy skin, skip the bag. Place the turkey on a rack in a baking pan. If desired, place vegetables on the rack under the turkey. I also like to add 2 cups wine, water or stock to the bottom of the roasting pan to keep the turkey moist and to build flavor for the almighty GRAVY!

6. Place turkey in the oven.

The rule of thumb for cooking time is 13 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes resting time.

  • Chef’s Tip: Invest in a good meat thermometer. The turkey should be 165° at the thickest part of the thigh.

7. Open turkey bag (if used) for last 20-30 minutes of cooking time.

If you have cooked your turkey in a bag you can slice open the bag and expose the turkey for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking time for a GBD turkey.

8. Rest the turkey 20 minutes.

Once turkey has come to temperature. Remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest 20 minutes.

9. Make gravy from the drippings.

If desired, use pan drippings to make gravy using the following recipe.

10. Watch this Omaha Steaks video for carving the perfect turkey and this video below to see these hacks in action! Enjoy!

Turkey Gravy

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey gravy


  • ½ c. or 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • ½ c. flour
  • 2 c. turkey drippings plus 2 c. stock wine or water to equal 4c. liquid.
  • 2 T. fresh herbs parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • In a medium saucepan melt butter. Add flour and cook over medium heat until mixture starts to brown and small nutty.
  • Stir in 4 c. dripping mixture whisking constantly. Bring to a boil to thicken.
  • Stir in fresh herbs and season to taste.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.

10 Tips for the Perfect Turkey

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