How to Painlessly Cook a Turkey (painless for you, not the turkey) 500 degrees, 7 minutes a pound!

Browned to perfection!

It’s that time of year again for “Cooking with Judy”!  Here’s a re-post of my yearly Thanksgiving post — cuz it’s tooooo good not to be shared!

Even though this sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.
I read about this and tried it.  The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.

I’ve done this every year for almost two decades and it’s never failed.  (One time I did a 20-plus pounder and parts were not completely cooked so I zapped the parts in the appliance of choice – my microwave)

I’ve shared this with many others and it has failed only once — the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey . . . and has never eaten turkey since. To see why, keep reading.

10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure


  • Pre Heat oven 500 degrees
  • Clean the bird, remove giblets
  • Throw turkey (minus giblets)  into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, sputtering don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed at 500 degrees FARENHEIT
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed

*WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will join you for dinner after you scrub the black soot from your ceiling.

Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)

  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this just because it is more humane for the cook
  • Yes, 500 degrees.  It is not a typo.
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound

P.S.  The first year I made the turkey this way I had it sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven everyone nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.

Real Life Testimonial: “So the turkeys were a success!!. I put them in our barbeque oven at 500 degrees for an hour and a half. They turned out perfect!!! That was awesome!!!!! I will be doing it that way from now on.

5 comments on “How to Painlessly Cook a Turkey (painless for you, not the turkey) 500 degrees, 7 minutes a pound!

    • Mo,
      Just make sure the little bugger is not injected with butter or anything
      Don’t season it, just wash out insides. Remove giblets (I boil them in a pan for Max)
      I always open the windows because sometimes the heat sets off the fire-alarm!
      Don’t be surprised if the end of the bones on the legs is charred, the meat is juicy.

      I made a 500 degree 10ish lb turkey 2 days ago — 1 hour and 14 minutes! Delicious. He’s almost gone.

      Go! MO! Go! You’re my kinda gal (hate the term “gal” but nothing else quite fits


  1. Judy-Judith, are you absolutely sure about this? A raw and naked turkey lolling about on the kitchen counter when guests arrive sounds like you just weren’t quite ready for company . . .

    It sounds like the temperature I set for my oven’s self-cleaning feature. Perhaps it will both cook the turkey AND burn the crud off my oven racks at the same time?! ?! I’m forwarding this to my daughter Larissa for her expert assessment (she’s the chef in our family).


    • Carolyn,
      YES! I am absolutely sure about this. It’s the only way I ever cook a turkey since first trying it. THe picture (the turkey that’s lying down and not eating an oreo) is my turkey from last year.
      Only the very bravest of people try this – the cowards get up at 4 am, baste every 1/2 hour for 2 weeks and then complain that the meat is dry.
      P.S. Maybe that’s why my oven is always so clean. . .


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