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Stress-Free, Succulent Turkey

Being Canadian, we have already enjoyed our Thanksgiving turkey, and it was delicious.

I used to dread cooking turkey, hoping desperately that it would be neither undercooked nor dry and overcooked.  With this recipe it’s so stress-free to make tender and delicious turkey!

Here’s what I do (and what some of my friends are now doing as well):

1. The night before, or early in the morning, preheat the oven to 400F.  Then put the turkey into the roaster and pop it into the oven. If it’s huge, as in more than 15-20 lbs, or partially frozen, be sure to put it in the night before.

2. Heat it at 400F for 30-40 minutes. (If you have a tiny turkey, leave it at 400F only about 25 minutes.)

3. Turn the oven down to 200F and cook the turkey all day (and night if you put it in in the evening) at that temperature.  It will cook slowly and stay tender and delicious for hours at 200F.

4. Enjoy.


  • Our turkeys are usually around 15 lbs and mostly thawed when I put them into the oven, and we cook them for 10-24 hours, depending on circumstances.  At such low temperatures they never get tough.
  • The initial cooking time at 400F kills bacteria on the surface.
  • I always cook the stuffing separately.
  • Unless you are certain that your oven thermostat is correct, use a meat thermometer.  Since the oven temperature in this method is barely above the official ‘done temperature’ you must be sure that you do reach the correct temperature.

This is based on a method found in Let’s Cook it Right by Adele Davis. (That old cookbook is one of my treasures.)

For more great ideas, see Works For Me Wednesday , Raising Homemakers, No Ordinary Blog Hop, Encourage One Another Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesdays, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, and Frugal Friday.


  1. Jenn4him says:

    My mom is roasting our “official” turkey, but I bought one for us to roast next week just to have, so I will give this a try. I forgot to tell you that I have been running an extra spin cycle on the clothes, when I remember, that is! Seems to help. Thanks!

  2. Heidi says:

    We used a cooking bag for the first time this year. We were so pleased with the shortened amount of time it took (3-4 hours for our 22lbs turkey), as well as how juicy and tender it was. No basting, no muss, no fuss! Thanks for linking up with us at NOBH!

  3. Annie Kate,
    We just returned from our Thanksgiving with family and friends, and I admit I have been off the blog for a while and not visited many of my blogging friends. You are one of those that I just LOVE to read ~ I am always blessed or learn something which enriches me. It is evident that you love WELL! Thank you for sharing all you do. BTW, this is a great post!
    I would like to ask you to allow me to share your link for this turkey-roasting method to my blog (of course, with a link back to you) about December 10! I will be adding some of my own pics and try to find a photo of Adele Davis’ book 🙂 Let me know what you think…Blessings to you and your household, friend!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      That’s fine, Jacqueline! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. If you need a picture of the book, I can send you one, although my book is a bit beat-up. 🙂

      Annie Kate

  4. Annie Kate, I am getting to work on this , and i would be delighted to use the picture of your book if I can make it fit 🙂 Do you think one could do 3 chickens in one roaster and do the same thing, just less time? this is one of the best practical things for holidays I’ve seen!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Three chickens should work, but you’d use the same amount of time. The beauty of cooking at such a low temperature is that cooking times can stretch by hours and the meat just gets more and more tender.

  5. desiree says:

    Hi just wondering since it isnt stated.. How much water do you put in your roasting pan.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Sometimes I put in a quarter cup, but usually I add nothing. Either way, I end up with a pan full of scrumptious juices. If you do not cover the pan, you might need to add some water, but I’ve never tried that for poulry, only for roasts and hams that don’t have any pieces sticking out like the poultry does.

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