Whether you are on a gluten free diet or not, these turkey roasting tips may come in handy this holiday season. Ingredients listed do not contain gluten. For specific brands of gluten free chicken broth see the Gluten Free Product List. For gluten free turkey brands see Gluten Free Turkey List. If you’re serving ham instead of turkey, check out the Gluten Free Ham List. I hope you find these turkey roasting tips helpful. Happy upcoming Thanksgiving to you all!
Gluten Free Turkey Purchasing
See the gluten free turkey list linked above. When purchasing a gluten free turkey, be sure to double check the ingredients label, especially if it is self-basting. The juices used in self-basting turkey often contain gluten.
Turkey Roasting Tips
- Thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Allow 1 day of thawing per every 4-5 pounds. If it is not thawed the day of roasting, soak in cold water. If you forget to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, thaw it in cold water for 30 minutes per pound. If you are completely out of time, you may cook the turkey frozen, but it will take 1.5 times longer.
- Make 1/2 – 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound of your turkey. If using egg, only use pasteurized eggs, not raw. Make your stuffing the night before and refrigerate. Do not stuff a raw turkey with warm ingredients. Never stuff a turkey the night before. All the above prevents food-borne illness. Do not over pack the cavities with stuffing, as this causes uneven cooking.
- Set the turkey on a roasting rack.
- Roast no lower than 325°F; no higher than 350°F. The slower you roast, the more juicier and tender the turkey.
- Rotate the pan half way through the baking time for even baking and browning.
- Insert a thermometer into the thickest portion of the thigh. Turkey is done when it reaches 165-180°F. For an accurate temperature, avoid touching the bone with the thermometer. You should not see any pink, and the juices should be clear. If they are not, the turkey is not completely cooked.
- For a nice brown, flavorful turkey, baste with heated mixture of: butter (or oil), fresh orange juice (or other fresh juice), dry white wine (or gluten-free chicken broth or both), a tiny bit of Kitchen Bouquet, fresh ground pepper, and salt. The oil/butter helps prevent the skin from drying. The drippings make a wonderful gravy!
- If the turkey browns prior to being done add a layer of parchment paper then aluminum foil over the top.
- Add the drippings from the pan into your gravy. If the drippings are stuck to the pan, make the gravy in the pan by placing it on top of 2 burners. If the pan contains too much grease, remove some prior to making your gravy. This is easily done if you place the drippings in the freezer to quickly cool. The grease will then separate from the juices and harden. To prevent drippings from hardening, add water to the bottom of the pan. This will also help keep your turkey from drying out.
- Allow the turkey to rest 15-20 minutes prior to removing stuffing, as your bird will fall apart easily when it is hot. This provides time for the juices to settle and the turkey will be easier to carve.
Turkey Roasting Tips: Pan
- The darker the pan, the faster your turkey will cook, as dark pans retain heat.
- Too large a pan will slow down roasting time, as it blocks the heat. Therefore, if possible, use a shallow pan versus a deep pan.
- If your pan is almost as large as the oven, it will slow cooking time.
Turkey Roasting Tips: Times
Turkeys are roasting faster nowadays. I’m afraid to ask why, though. Is it what we feed our turkeys? Antobiotics given? An organic turkey is the best way to go! More on that in the coming days.
My last stuffed turkey weighed 22 lbs. and cooked in about 4 hours. That is 10-11 minutes per pound. I remember when I first started roasting turkeys, they would take much longer, maybe 15-18 minutes per pound. The larger the turkey, the shorter the cooking time per pound.
Note that stuffing your turkey will also slow down baking times.
I have not listed specific baking times, as each brand suggests different times. See your turkey’s directions for guidance.