How to Cook a Turkey

Dust off your apron—it's time to learn how to cook a turkey!

Whether you're preparing holiday turkey for a house full of guests or serving up a tasty weeknight dinner, Butterball has all the turkey tips you need to set you up for an amazing meal.

Let's get cooking!

First, determine how much turkey you need. A general rule is 1 pound of turkey per person, but that amount can vary depending on your dinner plans and guest preferences. Butterball whole turkeys are individually pre-brined for convenience and taste, but if you want even more flavor and juiciness, you can brine, marinate, or inject your turkey following our step-by-step instructions. For those who love stuffing, our How to Stuff a Turkey video is a must-watch.

Now, it's time to cook! How long to cook a turkey depends on the cooking method. Oven-roasting and deep frying are classic turkey cooking techniques, while air frying offers a lighter option. Rotisserie roasting and cooking a turkey spatchcock style make for impressive presentations. Grilling or smoking turkey is a great way to cook turkey outdoors. 

No matter which way you cook a turkey, always follow food safety essentials for a safe and proper cook. We’ve got a few tips to help you correctly place a meat thermometer and how to tell if a turkey is done.

You've cooked a beautiful turkey. Now it's time to carve and serve with confidence. With our easy-to-follow turkey carving instructions, we know you've got this!

How to Roast a Turkey

Roasting a whole turkey is easier than you think. Just follow these simple instructions for a fresh or thawed turkey.

how to roast

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

Learn how to spatchcock a turkey for an evenly cooked, crispy turkey, that takes less time to cook than traditional roasting.

    How to Spatchcock a Turkey

    How to Deep Fry a Turkey

    Learning how to deep fry a turkey is the quickest way to turn out an irresistibly tender and juicy turkey. Remember to follow the instructions carefully!

    How to Deep Fry a Turkey

    How to Air Fry a Turkey

    Get your turkey to a delicate crispy brown without an abundance of oil or effort. You’ll get a light fry and big flavors.

    How to Air Fry

    How to Grill a Turkey

    Although it’s not the most common method, grilling can be a fun way to take a delicious turkey dinner outdoors. But being in the elements requires some special food safety considerations, so be sure to read our instructions and tips carefully.

    How to grill

    How to Smoke a Turkey

    Get an amazing smoked flavor while leaving your oven free for other dishes. Follow the instructions for a water or electric smoker and get a taste unlike any other.

    How to smoke a turkey

    How to Rotisserie Roast a Turkey

    A classic way to prepare a turkey, the rotisserie method is great for an evenly golden brown turkey, because the turkey is able to rotate fully over the heat source. Learn how to cook whole turkeys and boneless roasts using the rotisserie methods below.

    How to roast

    Suggested Products

    We believe people should feel good about what they eat. That's why all Butterball® products are made with quality turkey for everyone and for any occasion.

    Butterball® Turkey Talk-Line®

    Got a turkey-related question? We can answer it!

    Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or text us at 844-877-3456 to chat with our turkey experts

    turkey talk link

    More Turkey Tips

    How to Brine

    Brining is the key to a juicy, flavor-filled turkey. Never tried it before? We'll show you how.

    How to Stuff

    Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, it's at the heart of any Thanksgiving. Let us show you how to prepare a stuffed turkey.

    How to Thaw

    Ready to get cooking? We'll show you the do's and don'ts of thawing your turkey.

    How to Inject a Turkey

    Looking to add a little extra flavor? Try injecting your turkey with a favorite marinade. It's simple and easy.

    How to Carve

    There's one last step before you dig in: carving! Don't be intimidated. We're here to guide you.

    Food Safety Essentials

    Get the information you need to store, prepare and enjoy your meal safely.

    How to Make a Leftover Turkey Sandwich

    Got leftovers? Make a sandwich! Turn your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers into another tasty meal.

    How to Choose a Turkey

    Fresh or frozen? Big or small? We can help you choose the right turkey for your next gathering with our how-to video.

    How to Place a Meat Thermometer

    Unsure of how to check if your turkey is done cooking? Use a meat thermometer!

    How to Marinate

    When you know the basics of marinating, you can guarantee great flavor every time. Let us show you the steps and some great recipes, too. There's a marinade for every occasion and every palate.

    How to Inject a Turkey

    Looking to add a little extra flavor? Try injecting your turkey with a favorite marinade. It's simple and easy.

    How to Check for Doneness

    Is the turkey done yet? You may have heard of different ways to check, but there’s only one way to be sure.