How to cook a big @$$ turkey


I scored a humongous turkey – 23 pounds – for a killer, can’t-refuse price and thought ‘Wheee!’ Then I realized 23 pounds was about three times bigger than anything I ever shoved in my oven. Yikes!

I wound up making a huge foil pouch, creating a wine steam environment, and roasting at what sounded way too hot 450 degrees for around three hours. Surprise! Birdzilla was de-lish.


Here’s how I roasted Tom-a-saurus:

(1) Place a large aluminum roasting pan on a sturdy cookie sheet. Make a LARGE sheet of tin foil by folding edges together, press into roasting pan. Spray foil generously with non-stick spray. Rinse thawed turkey, pat dry and place breast side up onto the foil. Pour some of your favorite white wine over the bird, then season. I put fresh rosemary, garlic and onions in the body and neck cavities.

(2) Roast at 450 degrees for 2 ½ to 3 hours, judge by smell; then reduce heat to 325 and open the foil to brown that yummy skin. Half an hour should be enough, judge by looks. A meat thermometer in the breast should read 185 degrees and drumsticks should twist easily.

Success! Tom was juicy, fall-ff-the bone tender and savory. The wine made awesome gravy.

NOTE: Be SURE you remove all packets of gizzards, gravy mix and coupons before roasting your bird. Search the body AND neck cavities – forget this step and you will have a smell your nose will never forget.

Bon Appétit!

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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.


  1. Hey Cate, Fab recipe; will try it soon. Also love the graphic — how’d you do it? Sweet.

  2. Lynn, we have our clever and creative webmaster John Wright to thank for the graphic. John always comes up with the BEST illustrations.

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