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Steam Roasted Turkey

This technique for preparing a Steam-Roasted Turkey is an excellent option for a Thanksgiving roast turkey recipe. This is one of the best Thanksgiving turkey recipes because it details the perfect way to cook any size bird.


Note: Don't use a "self-basting" (shortening-injected) turkey with this method if you can help it. It's not necessary, and may make the drippings for the gravy really greasy.


Looking for more methods for preparing your Thanksgiving bird? Check out The Top 41 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes for more great ideas!


  • whole turkey, 8-24 pounds
  • oil or butter
  • stuffing of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large, shallow roasting pan, place a "cross" of two long pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, enough to go around the circumference of the turkey in each direction, plus extra. Grease the foil where it will contact the turkey.
  3. Stuff and truss the turkey as you normally would. If the turkey came with a "lifter" (string harness), put this on.
  4. Lower the turkey onto the foil. Bring the inner piece of foil together at the top, fold ends together to seal securely. Do the same with the other piece, then crimp the edges together so there's no turkey showing. 
  5. Roast to within 15-20 min of the following total roasting times: 8-10 lbs for 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 hr, 10-12 lbs for 2 3/4 - 3 hr, 14-16 lbs for 3 - 3 1/4, 18-20 lbs for 3 1/4 - 3 1/2, 22-24 lbs for 3 1/2 - 3 3/4.
  6. Remove from oven and carefully fold back foil (watch for steam!) to the edges of the pan.
  7. Use a wooden spoon to gently detach any stuck skin from the foil. Juice should run clear when pricked with a fork at the leg joints.
  8. Lift turkey onto a platter to remove stuffing and carve.
  9. The pan and/or foil will contain plenty of juices and bits of browned stuff with which to make gravy.

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I think this is a great way to cook a turkey. I would imagine that it will keep it super moist.Turkey dries out very easily. I would definitely like to try this. It is so hot here in South Africa at Christmas time. This year I decided to serve my Christmas meal. It was still traditional with turkey and ham but I cooked it on the 23rd and then served it on Christmas day. What a time saver! I enjoyed this Christmas more than ever before. Here is a picture of my turkey served cold.


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