How to Cook A Tasty Turkey for Thanksgiving

In this post, I share my tasty turkey for the Thanksgiving recipe.  Get a look inside my kitchen and fun notes I take each year to prepare the feast.

Follow The Direction

It’s my favorite time of year where we use fresh herbs, spice, and vegetables to cook up a fabulous Thanksgiving turkey. Hard to believe I wasn’t always confident when it came to cooking a turkey. Preparing a giant 20-pound turkey can be intimidating.   By taking some notes and carefully paying attention to temperatures you will be a pro at cooking up a large turkey in no time.

Each year I add to my food journal featuring how to’s and more. As a result, the journal is filled with Notecards from family and friends, favorite magazine clippings and printed recipes from favorite cooking sites make up this journal. The journal is filled with notes that are over 40 years old from my Dad’s cookbook. These notes are hard to read but true treasures. As a result, memorable recipes and notes can be found in my journal helping me cook up that perfect turkey each year.

Key Ingredients

Bouquet from the Dome Greenhouse


  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • bay leaf
  • Sage
  • Parsley


  • sweet onion
  • celery
  • carrots

Spices and Rub Recipe 

Butter Rub

Here are the ingredients for my Thanksgiving spice rub used on the roasted turkey.

Spice Rub Recipe

Spice Rub Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons of poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon of garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 stick of butter melted


  1. Mix the ingredients together in butter and rub on the turkey

Check out the  Food Safety website for cooking directions.

Cook Turkey

20 pound turkey

 The biggest mistake ever was using a foil pan for a 22-pound turkey. As a result, the foil does not provide good insulation to accurately hold the heat for the turkey to cook in the time suggested. Thanksgiving dinner ended up being a few hours late. I’ve had great success using an electric roaster.  It’s a fact that the electric roaster not only frees up my oven for other dishes it is easier to keep the lid in providing the correct temperature for cooking.

Turkey Stuffed

Inside the turkey add cut sweet onions, chopped celery, and chucked carrots.  Rub the turkey inside the skin and on top of the skin with the butter spice rub recipe in this post.  Pour about 1 cup of vegetable broth in the bottom of the roaster pan.    The 20-pound turkey takes about 4 hours to cook – leave the lid on tight ( DO NOT PEEK) for 3 hours.  After 3 hours use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

Check out the Let’s Talk Turkey page for accurate temperatures and cooking times. I trust this site!

With a big bird I had plenty of leftovers.  Be sure to check out some of these Turkey Day leftover ideas.

Let’s Connect

Me, Mom and Turkey... oh and my brotherDo you have a fun story to share with me about your bird?  Therefore, comment below or find me on social media at @BrenHaas to share.

Happy Thanksgiving,



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