Grandma's Holiday Turkey Cooked in Roaster

Kathie Carr


First 2 pictures are from a brochure dated 1949 on how to roast a turkey. It seems to be published by the Indiana Home Economics Extension Clubs. The picture of the sliced turkey is my own.

Grandma had a roaster that was one of her most prized possessions, at least in the kitchen. She used it rarely but always for Christmas and Easter turkeys.

The turkey was moist and beautifully browned. It was always filled with home made stuffing and the hit of our holiday dinners.


★★★★★ 1 vote

30 Min
3 Hr 30 Min


Add to Grocery List


15 pound turkey
1-2 tsp
1 tsp
1 stick
melted butter
1 large
onion, chopped
enough water to fill roaster 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep


roaster pan drippings
1/4 c
just enough water to dissolve cornstarch
salt, pepper, poultry seasoning to taste

How to Make Grandma's Holiday Turkey Cooked in Roaster


  • 1Defrost turkey in refrigerator. This takes a couple of days.

    Remove the neck and giblets (heart, gizzard, liver). You can save these and use the heart and gizzard for making stock for the stuffing. The neck can be cooked along side the turkey or saved for turkey soup. Or all of the giblets can be used for making giblet gravy.

    Preheat the roaster oven to 400 degrees.
    Wash out the turkey with water. Pull out any remaining feather stubs in the turkey skin. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  • 2Fill body cavity with stuffing. Grandma used home made but you can also use a packaged mix. Close up the turkey cavity with either string (not nylon string!) or metal skewers. Make sure that the turkey's legs are tied together, held close to the body, and tie a string around the turkey body to hold the wings in close. The neck cavity can also be stuffed and tied closed with thin skewers and string. Rub melted butter all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle salt generously all over the outside of the turkey Sprinkle pepper over the turkey. Place turkey up on the rack of the roaster.
  • 3For the 15 lb turkey, start the cooking at 400 degrees for the first 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees for the next 3 hours. Start taking temperature readings with a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thickest part of the turkey breast and thigh, an hour before the turkey should be done. You want a resulting temperature of 175 degrees for the dark meat (thighs and legs) and 165 degrees for the white meat (breast).

    Once you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.
    Scrape all the drippings off of the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour drippings into a smaller skillet. Ladle off excess fat. In a separate small bowl take a quarter cup of corn starch and add just enough water to dissolve the corn starch. Beat cornstarch with a spoon to remove lumps. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the drippings, stirring constantly. You may not end up using all of the cornstarch mixture. Only add as much as you need to get the desired thickness. Allow time for the cornstarch to thicken the gravy. Add salt, pepper, sage, thyme, or other seasonings to taste.

Printable Recipe Card

About Grandma's Holiday Turkey Cooked in Roaster

Course/Dish: Turkey, Roasts

Show 2 Comments & Reviews

8 Delicious Ground Turkey Recipes

8 Delicious Ground Turkey Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Ground turkey is a great way to make your favorite meals a bit healthier. These recipes are so tasty, you won't even miss the original!

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Stuffing A Turkey Recipe

The Do’s and Don’ts of Stuffing a Turkey

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Are you team stuffing or team dressing? Either way, there’s a right way and a wrong way to stuff your Thanksgiving bird. Check out this guideline you need to know...

Healthy, Flavorful Recipes For The New Year

Healthy, Flavorful Recipes for the New Year

Kitchen Crew

The holiday season is a time for indulgence... and, oh boy, did I indulge. I don't regret the pieces of cake and all the cookies, but it's time to reset...