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5 Simple Ways To Make Your Thanksgiving Turkey So Much Better

Everything you need to know about roasting the perfect turkey — from seasoning, to carving, to making a delicious homemade gravy.

There is truly nothing scarier than roasting a Thanksgiving turkey.

So we went ahead and created a simple, foolproof method for roasting turkey that'll help ease your nerves. You can find the full recipe at the bottom of this post.

By rethinking the entire process, we created a 100% manageable game plan for roasting the ultimate Thanksgiving turkey.

To start, we broke the process down into five easy steps:

Next, we decided to take a closer look at these steps to see how they can be perfected. Ready for a closer look?

And if you simply want the recipe, just scroll down to the bottom of this post.


The breasts and wings:

The legs and thighs:

And everything else...





And that's it: The perfect Thanksgiving turkey in five easy steps! Sure, it's untraditional, but if it results in a better tasting turkey, why would you do it any other way?

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And remember, Thanksgiving is about having fun and relaxing — so don't stress too much and remember you can always throw some fancy garnishes on the plate to hide any mistakes. You got this!


Servings: 15


1 15-pound turkey

¼ cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

Cooking oil of preference, for drizzling

Turkey Stock

1 turkey carcass

1 medium yellow onion, quartered

3 carrots, peeled and halved

3 stalks of celery, cut into thirds

Kosher salt, to taste

Cooking oil of preference, for drizzling

Cold water

2 bay leaves


⅓ cup rendered turkey fat or butter

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

1 quart turkey stock or chicken stock

1 bunch of fresh sage (optional)

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


One day before serving, prepare the turkey for brining. Pat dry with paper towels. Set the neck aside for the stock. Cut off the wing tips and set aside with the neck. Butcher the turkey into 8 pieces: 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 wings. Set aside the carcass for the stock.

Combine the salt, brown sugar, pepper, and granulated garlic in a small bowl.

Set a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Place the turkey parts skin-side up on the rack and generously sprinkle with the seasoning blend. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Make the stock: Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C).

Place the turkey carcass, wing tips, and neck on a baking sheet with the onion, carrots, and celery. Season lightly with salt and drizzle with oil.

Roast for 30-45 minutes, or until the carcass and vegetables are deep brown.

Transfer the roasted vegetables, turkey carcass, and other parts to a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add the bay leaves and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer (don’t boil!) for 3 hours.

Strain the stock, discarding the solids. The stock will keep 5 days in fridge and 3 months in the freezer.

From the still-warm baking sheet from roasting the carcass, pour any rendered fat into a small bowl. Add about 1 cup of water to the pan and scrape off any browned bits from roasting process, then pour into a separate bowl. Reserve for gravy.

Make the gravy: Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the turkey fat and flour, stirring to combine. Cook the fat and flour together, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. This is a roux--you are cooking out the raw flour taste and deepening the flavor.

Gradually add the stock to the roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, continuing to stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator until ready to warm for serving with the turkey. The gravy will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Two hours before you are ready to serve the turkey, preheat the oven to 425°F (220˚C).

Remove the turkey parts from the fridge and drizzle with oil before placing in the hot oven.

Roast for 30 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet to ensure even browning. Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚F (200˚C). Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 160°F (70˚C), or the thigh registers 170˚F (77˚C). Start checking after about 20 minutes, removing any parts from the oven as they reach proper temperature so that they don’t overcook.

Once all parts are done, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you warm the gravy.

Add the gravy and sage, if using, to a medium saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve the turkey with the gravy and your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.


And if you're looking for more Thanksgiving recipes, tips, and tricks, check out our Tasty-est Thanksgiving to help make this Thanksgiving the best one yet.