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Roasting a turkey for the first time can be an intimidating task to take on. But worry not — we’re here to help. Tackle Turkey Day with ease using our fuss-free beginner’s guide to Thanksgiving turkey (it’s also an easy way to ease kids into cooking). For a classic take on this traditional dish, follow the recipe below brought to you by Evite in partnership with Scotch-Brite™ Brand. Before you know it, your bird will look just like the one Grandma used to make.


Cook Time: 3 hr     Yield: 1 turkey


  • Roasting pan
  • Roasting rack
  • Turkey baster
  • Basting brush (or spray bottle)
  • Vegetable or cooking oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Herbs
  • Paprika (to taste)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 herb bouquet
  • Oven-safe meat thermometer
  • Kitchen twine
  • Kitchen shears (optional)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Carving board (or platter)
  • Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge


  • 1

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a turkey baster, drain the juices and pat dry with a paper towel.

  • 2

    Start by removing the giblets; discard or save for later to make gravy. After the giblets have been removed, place turkey (breast side up) on a flat rack in a roasting pan 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep. Note: If you are using a frozen turkey, allow the bird to thaw in the fridge overnight.

  • 3

    Tuck the wings back to help hold the neck skin in place.

  • 4

    Brush or spray the skin with a light layer of vegetable or cooking oil.

  • 5

    Season with salt and pepper, herbs and paprika. Stuff the inside of the turkey with an onion, lemon and herb bouquet. To make your own herb bouquet, tie your favorite herbs together with twine.

  • 6

    Using a piece of kitchen twine, tie the legs together. Insert a meat thermometer into the lower part of the thigh, being careful not to touch the bone. Place turkey in oven.

  • 7

    When the turkey is 2/3 of the way done, gently tent the breast and drumsticks with a piece of foil to help prevent overcooking. Tip: The rule of thumb for cooking a turkey is 13 minutes per pound. For the average 9-18 pound turkey, the cook time is 3-3 1/2 hours for an unstuffed turkey and 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours for a stuffed turkey.

  • 8

    Check the turkey's temperature. When it reaches 180 degrees in the thigh and 165 degrees in the breast or stuffing, it's time to take the turkey out.

  • 9

    Place the turkey on a platter (or carving board) and let stand for at least 15 minutes before carving.

  • 10

    Let the turkey pan soak, then use a Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge to clean the mess.


Start planning your party by sending the free Evite invitation below or another one of our Thanksgiving invitations.

Evite Thanksgiving Invitation


NEXT: Get more Thanksgiving recipes and party ideas.