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How to Prepare a Turkey for Roasting + Video

You’ve got a turkey & an oven, but what happens in between? Here’s how to prepare a turkey for roasting.

You are going to want to season the turkey inside & out, stuff it (if desired), and get things organized to put this bird in your oven.

How to Prepare a Turkey for Roasting:

How to Prepare a Turkey for Roasting - cookingwithkimberly.com

When roasting a turkey, you may opt to use a brined turkey or a non-brined turkey.

Making sure the turkey skin is dry before preparing it with butter & seasoning is essential. Oil & water don’t mix, so you’ll just be frustrated to the nines if you don’t dry it all adequately.

I pat dry the skin with clean, dry paper towels as best I can, and finish off with the low heat setting on a hair dryer to get it good and dry.

Type: Main Dish Recipe

Serve with: rice stuffing or bread stuffing
Prep Time: 10 min

The ingredients & instructions are listed below the video for measurements & directions. Please enjoy this webisode of Cooking with Kimberly:



  1. Rinse your turkey under cold water and pat dry with clean paper towels and/or a hair dryer to dry the skin adequately.
  2. Preheat your oven to a high heat you’re comfortable starting your turkey on. I start anywhere between 420 – 475 degrees F.
  3. Using softened butter, massage the skin of the bird all over and make sure it’s coated with butter.
  4. Sprinkle inside the cavity & on the entire outer skin of the bird with salt & pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika & poultry seasoning.
  5. Stuff the bird at this point, if you have a bread or rice stuffing prepared.
  6. With the breast side down in the roasting pan, I roast my poultry. This keeps the moisture in the breast meat, which typically gets dry when roasting. You will have juicy turkey breast meat to serve.
  7. Insert meat thermometer, if desired, at this point to make things easy. * Tip: Be sure to have the end of the meat thermometer inside an area dense in meat, and not mistakenly taking the temperature of the inside of the bird’s cavity or stuffing.
  8. Roast in the oven & enjoy everything about this turkey once it’s hit the proper internal temperature.

Turkey Cooking Temperatures:

Turkey Farmers of Canada recommends cooking a whole turkey to an internal temperature of 170°F (77°C) in the breast and 180°F (82°C) in the thigh.

When roasting, any stuffing placed in the cavity of the bird should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).


I hope you enjoy this Turkey Recipe on Cooking with Kimberly. Until next time…

Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously!

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Author: Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is the web-chef behind CookingWithKimberly.com. Food writer, food consultant and general lover of the delicious treats on our planet, Kimberly brings you hearty content, delicious offerings, fun antics, and some down-home cooked love with her mom making cameos. Internet entrepreneur and marketer, International model, and Editor-in-Chief of a number of online publications. Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously!

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