This easy no-fuss whole Thanksgiving roasted turkey recipe will show you how to cook a perfect turkey every Thanksgiving. There is no need to cook dry turkey anymore. This recipe will show you how to use both dry and wet rubs to make the best moist Thanksgiving turkey! And yes, no brine is involved.
1 whole fresh or frozen turkey (I used 17.85 lbs.)
For the lemon-garlic butter rub
2-tablespoons room temperature butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 – 3 cloves of garlic (grated)
For Turkey stuffing:
Good amount of salt and pepper
1 lemon (cut in half)
1 whole onion (quartered)
1 whole apple (cut in half)
A bunch parsley leaves
5 garlic cloves
4 – 5 Celery stalks
For the dry & wet rub
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon of seasoning powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onions powder
1 tablespoon of dry thyme
1 tablespoon of dry rosemary
1 tablespoon of olive oil (to sprinkle on the turkey before it goes into the oven)
1 cup of chicken broth or water (to pour into the roasting to prevent the pan from drying out/burning.
More parsley and fresh rosemary for garnishing
More salt and pepper (if necessary)
- Preheat oven to 325. If using a frozen bird, ensure that it is fully thawed and come to room temperature. Also, ensure that the bird is cleaned and patted down or dry with paper towels). Remove the neck, liver, and gizzard from inside the turkey; wash and clean them up as well—place turkey on a clean, dry cutting board, a board big enough to fit the turkey.
- Make lemon – butter; zest the lemon, add the lemon zest to the room temperature butter, add the grated garlic, and mix well.
- In a clean bowl, add all the “dry rub” ingredients together, and mix. Then divide into half; add ½ cup of water to one part of the rub to make a wet rub; this will be used for injecting the turkey; set it aside. For the other half, add one tablespoon of dry thyme and one tablespoon of rosemary to use as a dry rub later.
- Quarter the onions, apples, and cut the celery. Then season these vegetables and fruits generously with salt, pepper, Maggi, or Knorr, thyme, rosemary, etc. Work from inside out; sprinkle salt and pepper inside and outside of the entire bird.
- Add all the veggies and fruits inside the turkey with the onions, apples, lemon, and then the garlic, celery, and parsley.
- Use your hand, gently separate the skin around the bird’s breast, then take the lemon butter and generously rub them in those breast areas. This rub keeps the turkey breast remain moist and also well-seasoned. Rub the remaining (leftover butter) on the outside.
- Use a turkey injector, inject the turkey with the injection marinade we made earlier; ensure to stir the marinade before using to ensure flavors are evenly distributed, inject (almost) every part of the turkey.
- Then sprinkle the dry rub on the turkey from the neck, liver, gizzard, and entire body of the bird; use your hand to pack in the dry rub to intensify the flavor.
- Finally, pour a cup of chicken broth or water into the base of the pan you plan to roast this turkey. Place the turkey on a rack, not directly on the sheet; most turkey-baking sheets/dishes have a stand that prevents the liquid from touching the turkey.
- Sprinkle olive oil all over the bird while on the rack after all the seasoning and injection.
- Gently place the turkey in the oven and cook according to label or turkey cooking instructions; use this turkey cooking calculator.
- Typically, turkeys are roasted at 325 for 20 minutes per pound of stuffed turkey, 15 minutes per pound of unstuffed turkey.
- The neck, liver, and gizzards cook quicker than the whole turkey, so remember to take them out as soon as they are fully cooked; use the food thermometer to ensure they are done.
- Gently remove the fully cooked turkey from the oven and place safely and allow at least 1 – 2 hours before cutting, carving, or serving. This ensures that the juices are further released in all areas of the meat and that you get the juiciest turkey EVER! Garnish with fresh rosemary, parsley, carrots, and other fruits and vegetable as desired. Serve and enjoy with some sauce, stuffing, rice, salad, and your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Happy Thanksgiving.
My turkey was 18 pounds; please tailor (reduce or increase) ingredients to match your turkey size. It took about 4½ hours(or little less) to fully cook this turkey.
Make sure to season the vegetables and fruits generously with salt, pepper, Maggi, or Knorr, thyme, rosemary, etc, before stuffing them inside the turkey.
When you mix dry rub: mix all the ingredients and divide in half; add a ½ cup of water; this will be used for injecting the turkey. And in the second half, add one tablespoon of dry thyme and one tablespoon of rosemary for use as a dry rub later. I do this because if you add dry thyme and rosemary to everything, it will be difficult to inject. The text of thyme and rosemary may not allow the liquid to push through during injection.
Tie up the legs of the bird, if you desire, totally optional.
Sprinkle olive oil on the bird while on the rack and before it goes into the oven.
Check turkey every hour and base with the juices coming out of the turkey.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 4½ hours
- Category: Entree
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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