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Slow Roasted Turkey

recipe at a glance
Rating: 4/5
7 reviews

ready in: over 5 hrs
serves/makes:   10

recipe id: 8626

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14 pounds turkey, washed and dried
dried thyme, crumbled
dried basil, crumbled
black pepper
cayenne pepper
white pepper
butter, softened


Rub turkey with butter. Wrap ends of legs and wings with aluminum foil to prevent burning while cooking. Sprinkle salt, thyme, basil, and three peppers (black, red and white) onto turkey and rub in well.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Place turkey in oven and cook at 500 degrees F until honey-colored (10-20 minutes). Leave uncovered.

Lower heat to 200 degrees F and cook 40-50 minutes per pound. Baste occasionally.

cook's notes

Do NOT stuff this turkey, due to the low cooking temperature. Cook dressing separate.

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507 calories, 12 grams fat, 0 grams carbohydrates, 93 grams protein per serving. This recipe is low in carbs.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I read all of the reviews before deciding to use this cooking method and am so glad I did, because my turkey cooked much faster than the 40-50 minutes per pound!

I did do a few things differently, though. I brined my 22 lb. turkey for 24 hours and stuffed it before putting it in the oven. I put about 4 cups of broth on the bottom of the pan. I stuck the turkey in the oven at 500 degrees and cooked it for 20 minutes. I turned the oven down to 200 degrees and left it in the oven. I put the turkey in the oven at 11:30pm and woke up at 6:45am to a fully cooked turkey!!! At 40-50 minutes per lb, it shouldn't have been done until around 5:30pm (7 hours vs 18 hours)!!

I covered the turkey in foil and left the oven door open to cool it down. Once the oven was cooled, I closed the door and sporadically turned the oven on and off (setting the temp. to 200 degrees), so the bird didn't cool all the way down and basted it throughout the day. 2 hours before serving the turkey, I turned the oven on and set the temperature to 200 degrees, covered, until the turkey reached 165 degrees. I set the oven to broil for the last 10 minutes so the skin was nice and crispy and the turkey turned out incredibly moist and tender!!! Whew! I know this isn't the safest method, but I didn't know what to do and I saved the turkey!

My only conclusion is that some ovens might let heat escape faster than others? I know brining makes the turkey cook faster, but I thought that the stuffing would off-set the timing. I will be using this mehod next year, but will start at 11:30am the morning of and not 11:30pm the night before!

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I will be doing the turkey this year for Christmas, but we will not be eating at my place. Can I slow roast it the day before and then re-heat the next day at my son's place or will it dry it out. Or should I cook maybe the last 2 hours at my son't place? I have a pastured heritage turkey that was quite expensive and I don't want to ruin it. thanks for any advice.

Registered Member at
Member since:
Nov 28, 2013

REVIEW: 1 star recipe rating
I had a 20lb turkey and did ask directed...500 deg for 20 min..turned it down to 250 deg. 40 min per pound should have been approx. 13 hours. Started the 250deg. at up at 5:30am and my turkey was done/over cooked. The breast registered 194deg.! So much for these directions!

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
If your 20 pound turkey was overcooked after 6 hours at the lower temp, something is definitely wrong. A 20 pound turkey should take 6 hours to cook at 325 degrees. I would use an oven thermometer to check your oven at 200F and see if perhaps it's not accurate at that temp.

Registered Member at
Member since:
Nov 28, 2013


Correction...200deg. The top of the recipe says 3-5 hours but the text of the recipe say 40-50 min per pound. Apparently the 3-5 hours was the correct one...

Registered Member at
Member since:
Jan 6, 2002

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
This is one of the best ways to cook a turkey because it gets the skin sort of seared to hold the juices in but it doesn't heat the tender turkey meat too quickly so it doesn't dry out. ALWAYS use a good meat thermometer to test for doneness.

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
I've slow roasted several turkeys ranging from 18lbs to 24lbs. 10 to 12 minutes is the time I cook the Turkey to get a golden color then turn oven to 200 degrees and cook for 45 min per lb and baste every hour to hour and a half and cover when two thirds done. Thigh temp when done I look for 175 degrees. Always comes out juicy and melt in your mouth tender

Guest at

Guest Foodie

I'd like to slow roast a 17lb turkey and not risk overcooking. Can anyone give me directions and time guideline to roast at 200º?

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
You should be able to use a 17 pound turkey in this recipe, just account for the additional cooking time per pound

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
If you do this properly the temp should be at least 165*. Myself I cook the bird to 155* remove from oven cover well with heavy foil. after letting it rest for 1 hour I will reheat it at 400* for another 20 min. Let rest for fifteen,this should put your temp at 165 or a bit more,nice and juicy!

Guest at

Guest Foodie

Thank you. I hve been looking for time per pound. Found lots of slow cook recipes but could find nothing about how long for a 17 pound turkey. I'll try 45 per pount. I have also heard turkey should be at 185 not 165

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
This recipe advice worked out great. My version with a 25 lb bird used no 500d preheat (my mistake), but oven was at 210d for the whole duration. Using a probed thermometer to 170d internal temp, the bird was roasted for 16 hours. Flipped the bird after 4 hours, again at 8 hours and 12 hours. The white meat was done but juicy, dark meat was fall-off-the- bone tender and done. Best recipe ever to have both meats turn out optimally. No brining was necessary--my husband was happy for this. Apparently, the slow roasting method is forgiving and successful for the many variations that real folk encounter.

Guest at

Guest Foodie

Bob, after browning 20 minutes @ 500F, you turn down the oven dial to 200F and YOU KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED! The oven will slowly lose heat while cooking the bird, raising the internal temp to a safe level before all the juices have a chance to cook out.

Guest at

Nic Nac

The best slow roast recipe I have found, and I have cooked 100's of turkeys since being a chef, is to (brine the bird is desired) cook a 25 lb bird at 200d for 12-13 hrs upsidedown 2/3 the time. last 1/3 flip the bird rightside up and 30 mins before finishing broil to crisp the skin. Super simple, sounds worse then it is. Use a thermometer to temp the bird, 165d internal. Hope it helps.

Guest at

Guest Foodie

This method appeals to me even though slow roasting is not recommended due to health risk
question...after browning 20 you turn the oven dial to 200F while not opening the door, or do you open the door , wait till it goes down to 200F and then continue???
Thanks Bob

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