Overnight Slow Roast Turkey

I have a confession to make. The first time I made a turkey, I made a mistake. One that turned out to start a tradition and evolved to become the best turkey I have ever tasted.

What was my mistake?

You see, my mother asked me to make the main course for our holiday meal. We had had some tough years, and this was finally a time where we could really go all out for the holidays. I had never paid attention to how she cooked our turkey in the past. She told me the basics. Cook for so long, baste it, cover the legs so they don’t dry out. Well, I was 18, and in a hurry. I cooked it upside down. Yes, I know that sounds odd, but how was I supposed to know? I was 18 and had no clue what I was doing! Come on, I was only 18.

My mother laughed at me when she looked into the roasting pan. She asked me why I didn’t realize it was upside down. Then, she tasted it. The result was a turkey so moist, that I tried it again and again and again.

Cooking a turkey is no small task, though. Cook for so many minutes per pound, check the temperature. Stop every hour to baste with drippings. The whole time your oven is occupied making it impossible to cook anything else. Well, no more. I have developed a sure way to cook your turkey that will not dry out. How do you ask? Cook it overnight while you sleep.

Yes, that’s right. You slow roast your turkey at a low temperature. It is so easy and has very few steps.

This method does not work with a stuffed turkey, but the results make that sacrifice worth it.

The Cooking Process

  1. Start with a thawed turkey. Make sure the turkey is fully thawed and you can move the limbs freely. Rince and remove any gizzards or neck. Give it a good rinse throughout with cold water.
  2. Place in a roasting pan with the breast down. This is a big secret. It lets all the drippings go down into the breast keeping it moist.
  3. Generously rub turkey with butter on and under the skin.
  4. Rub 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp poultry seasoning on the turkey’s skin.
  5. Cook for 30 minutes in the oven preheated to 425. This kills any bacteria and browns the skin. We all know that the crispy skin is like the best part!
  6. Reduce heat to 200 and walk away. With the temperature so low, you can not overcook the bird! You want to leave it to cook at least 12 hours to ensure it is fully cooked.

The result is amazing.  The result is a bird so easy to carve, it practically falls apart. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving. We often carve and put the meat in a slow cooker to bring to family gatherings.


That’s it. Now you can relax! Enjoy this holiday season without stress!


  1. Sounds so gooood:)

  2. This looks amazing! I am going to use this recipe the next time I make a turkey!

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