How to Cook a Turkey in the oven to be moist without stuffing

Cooking a turkey in the oven can be a daunting task, especially when you want it to be juicy and moist. Stuffing the bird is a traditional method of adding flavor and keeping the meat moist, but it can also dry out the turkey if not done properly.

Here is a simple method to cook a turkey in the oven without stuffing, ensuring that the meat remains juicy and flavorful.


  • 1 (12-14 pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or sage)
  • Lemon or orange, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup of chicken or turkey stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Season the inside of the turkey generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Rub the skin with olive oil or melted butter, making sure to cover it evenly.
  5. Place the lemon or orange quarters and fresh herbs inside the cavity of the turkey.
  6. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up.
  7. Pour the chicken or turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
  8. Tent the turkey with foil, making sure not to touch the skin.
  9. Roast the turkey for about 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the bird (the thigh).
  10. Remove the foil tent and continue roasting the turkey until the skin is golden brown, about an hour more.
  11. Check the internal temperature regularly to make sure it doesn’t go above 165°F.
  12. Once the turkey is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
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By following these simple steps, you will know How to Cook a Turkey in the oven to be moist without stuffing and have a juicy and flavorful turkey that is perfect for any special occasion. The key to keeping the meat moist is to season it well, baste it regularly, and let it rest before carving.

Happy cooking!