This is a simple way to prepare a moist turkey without stuffing. The secret ingredient is butter -- it enhances the bird's natural flavor. When the turkey is done, the juices may be used to prepare a gravy by adding cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time until the liquid begins to thicken. This recipe is based on a 13 pound bird. Adjust as necessary.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
3 hrs
total:
3 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
18
Yield:
18 servings
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Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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  • Rinse turkey and remove giblets. Place turkey upside (breast) down in a roasting pan. Insert 1/4 cup butter inside the turkey. Place remaining butter in several pieces around the turkey. Pour water into the pan.

  • Cook covered in the preheated oven 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the internal temperature of the thigh has reached 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).

Nutrition Facts

536 calories; protein 66.4g; fat 28.1g; cholesterol 207.1mg; sodium 197.2mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (72)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/21/2005
This was my first turkey. It turned out great!! So juicy and tender! I usd aple juice instead of water and I made a rub of 1 stick melted butter salt pepper rubbed sage garlic powder and poultry seasoning. I also stuck little pices of butter between the breast and the skin. It was delicious. My husband cant get enough of it. Read More
(168)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/10/2012
Turning over a hot turkey isn't the easiet job so be sure you don't get much bigger. I did 1/4c olive oil/butter blend inside & only olive oil on the outside. Used 1c water 1c apple juice in the pan. Also 2T Kosher salt 1T freshly ground black pepper 1T poultry seasoning 1/2T sage. Yummy coating & it didn't need covering. Read More
(11)
89 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 71
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/21/2005
This was my first turkey. It turned out great!! So juicy and tender! I usd aple juice instead of water and I made a rub of 1 stick melted butter salt pepper rubbed sage garlic powder and poultry seasoning. I also stuck little pices of butter between the breast and the skin. It was delicious. My husband cant get enough of it. Read More
(168)
Rating: 5 stars
12/23/2003
Cooking the turkey upside down does help keep the meat moist. I like to use a cooking bag too because it cooks faster and seems to retain more juice. Read More
(117)
Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2004
Made this for an early Thanksgiving with the in-laws....they were surprised. I didn't use as much butter as the recipe called for....but wow what a difference. I also added a sprinkling of poultry seasonings to the skin....which made it delicious. Also, I rubbed some butter between the skin and the flesh. I have found that really makes a difference. Thanks for helping me to impress my in-laws....appreciate it. Read More
(101)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2004
Very moist tender and flavorful. I cooked the turkey upside down until the last hour and then turned it right side up to brown the top. Very good and easy. Although mine did take an extra hour and a half to cook completely. Read More
(61)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2004
I haven't tried this exact method yet but I'm embarrassed to say that the first time my husband and I had a Thanksgiving Dinner at our house we accidently cooked our turkey upside down. It turned out so moist that we do it every year now! If' you're careful you can actually turn the bird over for the last 45 minutes of cooking and get the nice brown skin too! Read More
(50)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2005
I will never go back. This is the only way to cook a turkey! My guests were very impressed and we fought over the leftovers. I've made it four times and we never have to throw out any leftovers. It all always gets eaten. I've noticed you don't have to use all that much butter: 1/4 cup is fine. I also add veggies to the cavity and the roasting pan. Brining the bird gives the thighs great flavor so I do that too. Even without those changes though this a delicious turkey. Read More
(35)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2006
This was super. The only thing I changed was to cook in a cooking bag salt & pepper inside and outside of turkey and stuff butter in between skin and meat. Read More
(33)
Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2005
We BBQ'd our turkey upside down this Thanksgiving for the first time. We usally just BBQ it the "regular" way. The turkey was so tender it almost fell apart. It was wonderful! We will never cook turkey any other way again. Only change I did was I made up some Herb Butter. I mixed chopped fresh sage rosemary and tyme and garlic with melted butter the night before. I then separated the skin and stuffed the butter between the meat and skin. I put fresh sprigs of the Herbs in the cavity with butter. Rubbed the turkey with olive oil. And on the grill he went. Upside down. I will make this again! Thanks! Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2010
I had to work untitl 430 one Thanksgiving and I left my friends in charge of cooking the turkey that year I came home to find four men standing around the turkey wondering what they had done wrong. I could tell right away that they had cooked it upside down. To everyones suprise it was the best turkey we had ever eaten!!! I now only cook the bird upside down and in a cooking bag. The bag really speeds up the cooking proccess. You can have 25 pounds cooked in a bout four hours. The turkey does not look as pretty sitting in the middle of the table so I usually carve it and put the slices on a big platter and just leave my guests guessing how I get it so moist. Read More
(27)
Rating: 3 stars
02/10/2012
Turning over a hot turkey isn't the easiet job so be sure you don't get much bigger. I did 1/4c olive oil/butter blend inside & only olive oil on the outside. Used 1c water 1c apple juice in the pan. Also 2T Kosher salt 1T freshly ground black pepper 1T poultry seasoning 1/2T sage. Yummy coating & it didn't need covering. Read More
(11)
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