Question for all you cookie turkers...err, turkey cookers


I have a crockpot recipe for turkey breast that is majorly yummilicious. I’d like to do our large Thanksgiving turkey the same way, but in the oven, since we don’t have a crockpot that would fit a 25-lb turkey. I was thinking of doing it in the oven, all day, at a low temp, in a closed roaster. Does that sound feasible, and what should the oven temp be? I’m thinking something on the order of 250. Ideas?



It sounds quite feasible, if your oven is big enough and 225F to 250F sounds about right. I’d never get a 25lb turkey in my oven. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here but we have one for Christmas. My husband cooks them outside on the Brinkman Smoker. It comes out really good, plus it keeps the heat out of the kitchen in the height of summer when it is 112F outside.

Let us know how it turns out, ok?


Well Rachael Ray had a thing on her show once where she said she just cooks two smaller turkeys instead of one HUGE one. It saves time. Perhaps smaller ones in multiple “hermetically sealed” roasters?..


I’d find a way to test it out before the big day.


For those who are interested, the turkey breast glaze in the crockpot recipe is a can of whole berry cranberry sauce, 1/3 cup honey, and 1/4 tsp each of ground cloves and nutmeg. The cooking juices, thickened, make a killer gravy. With a big turkey, I’d pro’ly have to at least fourple the recipe. And I will be using a meat thermometer.



If you keep it all covered up, it won’t brown nicely. Here’s something to think about: brown the turkey uncovered, at 400 to 425, for about an half-hour (until it browns). Then, add a can of chicken broth to the bottom of the roaster. Cover the turkey and turn down the oven to the low temp and let it go all day. The chicken broth will help keep the white meat from drying out.

You can use a low-sodium chicken broth and the flavor isn’t any different; just a little healthier for you.

Another caveat: after about 5 to 6 hours, the turkey will have released a lot of its moisture and fat and that fills up the roaster. You will need to open the lid and syphon it out with a baster. Ideally, the roaster should have 1/4 to 1/2 inch of fluid in it. I hope your roaster has a small rack on the bottom because the turkey shouldn’t be sitting directly in the moisture. It will suck it up and become fatty and weird on the bottom.

The fat, moisture, broth that you remove is good and can be used for gravy or stock or soup; and it freezes well, too.


I do something similar, but reverse the process. I add water in the cavity, heavy with spices, bake slowly, then I remove the foil at the end to brown, and crank up the heat. I have yet to dry out a turkey.

The advantage to doing it this way is when the foil is removed, most of the broth can be removed and decanted. I use the fatty part to keep the turkey basted while it browns and the broth from my gravy.


that is the old fashioned way to roast a turkey, the one us old gals learned when we got married, and for which we were given that huge black speckled roasting pan as a wedding gift. Works best with a fresh turkey, the larger the better. A fresh turkey does not have salt water and fat infused as do most frozen turkeys, so they will need some basting, but not that frequently in a closed pan. Also the lower the heat the better, but for safety it is best to put it into a 450 oven, then turn it down to 275-300 after 20 minutes. Put the turkey on a rack if your roaster comes with it, or make a rack from pleated foil twisted into coils.

Watch A Christmas Story and learn why you should never leave the turkey sit out on the kitchen table before it is fully cooked.

for safety I would still advise simply stuffing the cavity with celery sticks and onion quarters, and some sage leaves, which you discard after baking. you will have a wonderful stock for gravy after you skim the fat. Cooking for such a long time at low heat still won’t guarantee bread stuffing will cook thoroughly. With this method, while the bird is resting before carving, bake the stuffing in a baking dish (cooks faster than a deep casserole).

down here they deep fry their turkeys, delicious, but look for the news stories of people blowing up their patios and garages


I’m sure this may not help but as someone who also cooks turkey breasts all year long in crockpots, last year on Thanksgiving I did one in the crockpot and a larger breast in a Nesco Roasting Oven all day long and it all turned out fabulous.

The best part is, by having the turkey not in the oven - I could do all the other side dishes simultaneously and serve everything hot.


For the folks that have never had fried turkey, it is GREAT!!!:thumbsup:


if my brother comes, as we plan, I will borrow a weber grill since the turkey he smokes that way is the best I have ever tasted


The skin is going to be covered with the cranberry sauce-honey mixture. It’s not going to brown anyway.

We don’t have anyone with hounds living next to us :smiley:

I tried to smoke a turkey once–couldn’t keep it lit :stuck_out_tongue:




love it!
(the recipe looks yummy :slight_smile: )


hard to find a paper big enough to roll it in


OK, I am :eek:violently allergic to turkeys, but I do know about slow cookers:
The “high” setting on a slow cooker is about 300F.
The “low” setting is about 200

However, do remember that this is approximate, and everyone’s crockpot is a little different from others. But this should help with the timing. part.

Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have a nice baked ham??? (Fully cooked upon purchase, they need only to be heated through well).


Good information–thanks. I think I’m going to cover the turkey with the mixture, put the lid on the roaster, and do it at 250. I will be using a meat thermometer.

We do hams at other times. Thanksgiving is specially meant for us turkeys.



Hey Dave, this sounds yummy. Do you have a link to the recipe? (I’m an inept chef and would love a more formal “cook on this temp for this time” type of recipe).

Otherwise, what size turkey do you use? Thawed or frozen? How long do you cook it for? Is it possible to screw this up and if so, what can I do to salvage the turkey when that happens?


No link; got it from one of those cash-register crock-pot recipe card books. Originally it was a “cranberry pork roast” recipe, but I thought it would go good with turkey breasts, and it does. If I do it, I’m going to get a large bird, thawed, and roast it until the meat thermometer says 165. Don’t know what you could do to salvage a screwed-up turkey; I’ve never screwed one up. That says nothing about me, more about how easy it is to get a turkey to turn out.



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