Fast Upside-Down Turkey


Here I've tested out not one, but two new things – cooking a turkey at a very high heat, as well as cooking it upside-down, which I've heard for decades is the way to go if you want moist, juicy meat. Whether you're looking to cook your turkey in half the time, or just want to see some raised eyebrows when you bring it to the table, I really do hope you give this a try soon!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Additional Time:
12 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
14 hrs 45 mins
1 16-pound turkey


  • 1 (16 pound) whole turkey, thawed

  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 loaf French bread

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 sprigs fresh sage, or to taste

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, or to taste

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or to taste


  1. Place turkey in a large pan, bowl, or tub. Remove the neck and innards and save to make a gravy, if desired. Season the inside of the turkey with 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, and then the outside with the rest, until the entire surface of the bird has a thin coating of salt crystals. Transfer to the refrigerator, uncovered, and let brine for 12 to 24 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Set a large foil roasting pan over a sheet pan.

  3. Cut the bread loaf lengthwise into two halves. Butter generously and place buttered-side up into the prepared roasting pan, pushing bread halves together so they are touching.

  4. Remove turkey from the fridge and stuff sage, rosemary, and thyme into the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and place breast-side down on top of the bread, making sure turkey is as steady and straight-up as possible. Tuck wing tips up and over the drumette.

  5. Roast in the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 2 hours. Let turkey rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

  6. In the meantime, cut bread into cubes and transfer onto a serving plate; keep warm as needed. Spoon juices onto the turkey, place it on top of the bread, and carve.

    a low angle, close up view of a whole golden-brown turkey served on a white plater garnished with fresh herbs.

Chef's Notes:

Instead of serving it upside-down, you can flip the turkey right-side up and broil it on high for about 5 minutes to brown the pale skin above the breast.

Feel free to use Italian bread instead of French.

If you don't have kitchen string, just use dental floss or a bent paper clip.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of bread and butter. The actual amount consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

633 Calories
28g Fat
14g Carbs
76g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 633
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 221mg 74%
Sodium 1478mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 76g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 91mg 7%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 780mg 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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