Holiday Dinner Main Dishes

Perfect No Baste Turkey

Sur La Table

Turkey is almost always the star of the show on Thanksgiving Day and that can put a lot of pressure on the cook.  Luckily this tutorial will show you how to bake not only the most flavorful, juicy turkey you’ve ever had but possibly the most beautiful as well! No basting required and it’s always beautifully browned. I’ve made this turkey dozens of times not only for my family but just to have extra for us during the year and it always makes Mr. Kringle sink back in his seat. This makes even better day after turkey day sandwiches! The video also includes a carving tutorial as well so you can look like a carving pro at the dinner table!

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Perfect No Baste Turkey
Perfect No Baste Turkey

Make the perfect turkey every year!

  • Turkey, thawed in a pan in the fridge
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
  • (Dry herbs can be used at half the measurement of fresh)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Basil or bay leaves (optional)
  • Orange/apple halved (optional)
    Tools needed:
  • Roasting pan
  • Pan or Bowl for turkey "surprises"
  • 9x13 dish
  • Chopstick or similar tool for loosening skin if necessary
  • Foil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Check the package of your turkey for the correct baking time that corresponds with the size (amount of pounds) of your bird.
  3. Remove neck, giblets and turkey gravy starter if included from turkey cavities (rear and neck)
  4. Gently separate skin from breast meat leaving skin intact.
  5. Add all herbs to butter and stir to combine.
  6. Two tbsp at a time, add the butter under the skin of the turkey breast. Use the chopstick to get up front if necessary and be careful not to dislodge the pop up timer if there is one.
  7. Rub butter over the top of the turkey getting wings, drumstick and breast.
  8. Fit foil by folding one end into a triangle and folding the other end so only the breast is covered. Remove the foil as it is to be used later but pre-fitting saves time and frustration.
  9. Add 1-2 cups of water to the bottom of the roasting pan, some black pepper to the top of the turkey and add the oranges, apples, onions or stuffing at this point. (For more on stuffing safety go here
  10. Bake in oven for 30 minutes uncovered
  11. After 30 minutes, REDUCE OVEN TEMP TO 325 DEGREES. Cover turkey with pre-fitted foil and bake according to your package instructions based on your bird size MINUS the 30 minutes it's already baked. The pop up timer will help if you keep an eye on it.
  12. Set the timer on your oven and do not open the oven except when the bird is done or unless you're adding veggies in the last 30 minutes or so to the dripping.
  13. Allow turkey to rest for 10 minutes after baking or you'll lose all of the juices you worked so hard for!

Once you make this perfect turkey, check out my turkey hack to show how you can leave the oven for the sides Thanskgiving Day!

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Written By

I'm a long time cook/baker that makes food centric recipe videos to help the novice cook or welcome a seasoned cook that wants to focus on the food. I'm passionate about both Christmas and cooking. Once my baking gene gets activated in September, I want to bake all the things. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and come on into my kitchen!

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