How to perfectly cook a turkey in under 2 hours

Get a perfect, juicy turkey in half the time.

Did you wait too late to pick up a turkey? Do you hate waiting 4+ hours for it to cook only to risk it being dry? Either way, we’re here to help. Fox19 Now anchor Rob Williams shows us a simple trick that will help you cook a bird in less than 2 hours, juicy and perfectly cooked when it comes out.

What You’ll Need

  • Whole turkey (Preferably fresh. If frozen, you’ll need more time to thaw.)
  • Sharp kitchen shears
  • Meat thermometer
  • Roasting pan with stand
  • Poultry blend
  • Grape Seed Oil (Other oils like olive, canola, vegetable will do)
  • Course Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


NOTE: For this video, we used a 14 pound bird and it was finished in an hour and a half. Cook time will vary based on your oven and turkey, but using this method will still cut your total cook time in half no matter what.

  • If frozen, let your bird thaw based on directions on packaging
  • Flip turkey over so the breast is facing down. You’ll be able to feel the backbone running along with top (facing you)
  • Using your kitchen shears, start cutting through the backbone on both sides.
    • This will take some time, be patient and make even cuts and it should come out cleanly.
  • Use the removed backbone for stock or discard it.
  • With the backbone removed, oil the entire turkey inside and out and heavily season with salt and pepper.
  • In your roasting pan, set up your stand and place your poultry blend right in the middle.
  • Place your turkey in the pan with the breasts on top and the open cavity facing down and out of sight.
  • OPTIONAL: Add white wine or chicken stock to the pan along with onions, carrots and celery.
  • Cook turkey at 375° for an hour and a half then check.
    • The safe temperature for a turkey is 165° so use your meat thermometer and check in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Once you’ve got the safe temperature, remove from oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
    • If you begin carving immediately, you’ll lose all the juices inside!