One year my oven died right before Thanksgiving and my roaster oven was my savior that Holiday. The new oven wasn’t to arrive and be installed until December. So I had to roast my Thanksgiving Turkey in my roaster oven that lives out on my patio. If you don’t own a roaster oven, they are excellent for extra oven space when you entertain or during holiday gatherings and your oven is full to the brim. They also come in handy used outside when the summer heat is oppressive, as it is here in Texas, and you just don’t want to heat up your kitchen or feel that blast of hot air using your regular oven. They bake beautiful cakes, muffins, cookies, and meats wonderfully. An added boon, they are getting so cheap, one can be had for under $30 around Christmas time!
I had done a turkey in my roaster oven before on this particular holiday, but probably not in 25 years or so. But I went about it pretty much as I would for roasting the bird in my regular oven, other than the fact that I covered my wing tips and drumstick tips with foil when I first put it in the oven. The bird came out delicious, moist and tender. More moist that my usual conventional oven cooked birds, in fact! Didn’t get quite as crispy skin, but it was crisp enough.
I used a Riverside turkey on this occasion. I have cooked them many a time and had good luck with them. Honeysuckle is another good brand of turkey that cooks consistently. Frankly, I’ve never had a Butterball come out that I was very happy with, so I just don’t buy them anymore, although I prefer their marketed whole breasts over the off-brands. Of course, this recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto, Primal and Paleo diets alike.
1 12-13 lb. turkey, thawed (follow chart on wrapper for a larger bird)
4 T. melted butter
Dash each of salt and black pepper
4 small pieces of foil
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325º. Open turkey wrapper and remove bird to a clean sink. Remove the leg binding gadget. Remove giblets and set aside for making your gravy. I only use the neck meat for gravy and my dog usually gets the liver, heart and gizzard in her dinners over a week or so. I like to eat them; I just don’t like them in my gravy much.
I like to rinse out the inside of the bird. Pat the exterior dry with paper towels. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Place turkey, breast side up in a pan large enough to hold it. Baste with the butter all over on the outside and inside with a basting brush, using half the butter. Sprinkle bird inside and out with salt and pepper. I cook my dressing outside the bird as I like it to brown. You can add some chunks of celery, onion and parsley if you like to the cavity, but I do not. Your call there, but be sure to add those carbs below if you do. Cover wing tips and leg knuckles with foil so they will not burn.
Place pan with bird into the roaster oven, cover with lid and cook, for 1½ hours. Open oven and baste with remaining butter. Recover and cook for 1 hour and check for doneness with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast and around the thick leg joint (slowest area to get done). You want the thermometer to read 170º. Cook for another 30 minutes or so, checking with thermometer every 10-15 minutes now so as to not over cook. Remove when it has reached 170º internal temperature. Set on cutting board for 15-20 minutes before attempting to carve to avoid tearing up the meat and all the juices running out. You want those juices to STAY in the meat. This turkey should be extremely moist. Roaster ovens do an incredibly good job at moist heat roasting.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: I can’t know what pieces or amount you will eat, so I’ll provide some numbers for both white meat and dark meat.
4 oz. dark meat contains: 250 calories, 13 g fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, o net carbs, 31 g protein and 269 mg sodium
4 oz. white meat, skin eaten contains: 222 calories, 9.4 g fat, 0 carbs, 0 fiber, 0 net carbs, 32.3 g protein and 255 mg sodium