Culture Question:

I want to know how to Cook a Turkey

(posted: Apr 2010)

How to Cook a Turkey
This description is not intended to be detailed instructions for cooking a turkey. This is just an introduction to the turkey cooking process for those who have never dealt with turkey before. If you actually want to cook a turkey I recommend you consult a website on “How to Cook a Turkey” (there are a couple listed at the end of the article, but there are many others on the Internet at well).

Step 1
Thaw the turkey

  • This step only applies if the turkey was frozen.
  • Note: the turkey must be kept cool while it is thawing (do not leave it out at room temperature)

Step 2
Prepare the Turkey, Part 1

  • Take off any plastic from the outside.
  • Remove the neck and giblets (turkey internal organs like heart and gizzard that are usually found in a small bag in the body cavity of the turkey)
  • Wash the turkey.

Step 3
Prepare the Turkey, Part 2

  • Stuff the turkey (common stuffings are bread stuffing or rice stuffing: the stuffing is made and then put inside the turkey’s body cavity to cook while the turkey is cooking)
  • Tie the end of the drumsticks (legs) of the turkey together.
  • Brush the outside of the bird with melted butter.
  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Place it breast side up to get a better looking bird or breast side down to get a better tasting bird.
  • Tent tin foil loosely over the turkey.

Step 4
Cook the Turkey

  • Cook in an oven (this is called roasting). The temperature should be about 160C. Cook for around 20 minutes per 500g of turkey.
  • Take the tin foil off for the last hour of cooking.

Step 5
After Cooking

  • Remove turkey from oven. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before you cut it. This lets the juices settle and spread out evenly in the meat. Then cut it up and enjoy.
  • The well-cooked turkey should be juicy and the meat should be almost falling off the bones. An undercooked turkey can still look wonderful, but it will not taste very good.

Note: you never cut through turkey bones. Either slice the meat off of the bone or cut the bones apart at their joints.


  1. Canadian Living. “How to Cook a Turkey”, (, 30-Apr-2010.

  2. Cooking Nook. “How to Cook a Turkey”, (, 30-Apr-2010.

Return to Culture Questions page

   -  top of page -


Turkey coming out of the oven


Further Reading:

How to Cook a Turkey - Lots of details