The holiday season is quickly approaching, so you know exactly what that means: It’s turkey time! Whether it’s your first time preparing the Thanksgiving/Christmas bird for your family and friends or you’re just looking to try something different this year, we’ve got you covered! We’ve scoured the web and found the best turkey recipes out there:

5 Best Turkey Recipes

Bacon Roasted Turkey

“A savory roasted turkey with a French-style twist from New York City chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.” (via Martha Stewart)

Full Recipe Instructions

Maple Sage Spice Rub

This new Maple Sage Spice Rub is going to knock your socks off… The spice rub I made for dry brining includes a good amount of kosher salt, which is the ultimate flavoring agent, combined with sage, pumpkin pie spice, pepper, and garlic, plus dark maple syrup. Using kosher salt is important because the bigger salt grains “melt” more slowly allowing the flavors to penetrate the turkey slowly.” (via Cafe Johnsonia)

Full Recipe Instructions

Lemon Rosemary Roast Turkey

Simply stuffing the turkey with fresh rosemary, lemon and onion is so simple and so delicious. You can add any type of seasoning you like. For my recipe, I just used salt and pepper. There’s a beauty to the simplicity of this recipe.” (via Eclectic Recipes)

Full Recipe Instructions

Ranch-Seasoned Roast Turkey

Bland, dry turkey officially becomes a thing of the past with this recipe.” (via Delish)

Full Recipe Instructions

Slow Grilled Turkey

You will need a kettle grill with a lid that’s at least 22 inches in diameter, such as a Weber. You will also need a chimney starter, trussing supplies, a bag of best-quality charcoal briquettes, and a disposable heatproof aluminum roasting pan.” (via Martha Stewart)

Full Recipe Instructions

What Every Turkey Cook Ought to Know

  • How to choose the right turkey.

This will vary based upon the number of people you’re preparing for and if you want any leftovers, but the general guideline is 1 lb per turkey per person. However, bigger turkeys have more meat in proportion to bone, so if it’s over 16 lbs, figure a bit less than that will be needed per person. Roasting two smaller turkeys is also an option if you’re expecting a big crowd. For best results, buying the turkey fresh (rather than frozen) is recommended from a taste and texture perspective.

  • Turkey preparation.

Investing in a good roasting pan is important. Find one made of heavy-gauge metal, keeping the drippings from burning. Also, ideally the sides should only be about two inches, allowing you to properly baste the whole turkey.

Disregard any pop-up temperature indicator while cooking, as this isn’t the best indicator of whether it’s fully cooked or not. It’s recommended that the internal temperature reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Estimated Fresh or Defrosted Turkey Cooking Times 

8-12 lbs: 2.5 to 3.5 hours
12-16 lbs: 3.5 to 4 hours
16-20 lbs: 4 to 4.5 hours
20-26 lbs: 4.5 to 5.5 hours

Add 20-40 minutes for a stuffed turkey.

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