Perfect Slow Baked Turkey

by Annie
(New Mexico)

Perfect Turkey at Community Dinner

Perfect Turkey at Community Dinner

I wanted to give you a recipe for PERFECT turkey every time. I got this from a friend in the early 1970s and it has NEVER failed, and I have made it dozens of times; one thing I love the best is waking up early in the morning to the fabulous fragrance of turkey!!! The recipe came from a 1950s Adele Davis cookbook.

1: turn oven to 350 degrees.

2: stuff turkey, place in pan and put in oven.

3: bake one hour

4: USING OVEN THERMOMETER, turn oven to 180 degrees
(VERY important to have 180 degrees!!)

5: bake one hour per pound of turkey

6: ENJOY!!!!!!

IMPORTANT--CALIBRATE your oven to 180 degrees BEFORE the big baking day..... when your oven reaches 180, put a dot of red nail polish, or a scratch, on the exact spot on the oven dial--if you don't pre-calibrate the 180 degrees it will take too much time to find 180 and the oven will be too hot or too cold for your Perfect Turkey.

165 degrees kills all common pathogens, and 180 degrees really kills all! stuffing will be yummy-gooey, so you may want to make some ''dry'' stuffing as well. you do NOT cover the turkey, no basting, no fussing! the skin becomes somewhat of a ''cover'' that keeps the juices in. there is not the volume of drippings when cooked this way (it stays in the meat), but there is plenty to make lots of yummy gravy! and yes, a 22 lb turkey will be in your oven for 23 hours.

And if you have not tried Susan Stamberg's Mom's cranberry relish, it's a must! It may sound strange, but everyone loves it, albeit in small amounts! It's great with ham too! Recipe on This Page! I still make the Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Relish found on the Ocean Spray cranberry package.

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Dec 24, 2014
It Works!
by: Anonymous

I started cooking my turkey this way 40 years ago when I found the recipe in an Adele Davis cookbook. I cook it stuffed. I have always put the lid on the turkey roaster pan. Maybe that is why we have a hard time getting the bird out of the cooker in one piece. LOL! It's so tender the legs fall off. No one has ever complained that it looks weird or that you don't need a sharp knife to "carve" it. If you are more interested in taste than form give it a try - I'm sure you'll love the results.

Nov 07, 2014
Reset new ovens every 8 hours (I'm guessing.)
by: Gini Gentry

My oven (and a good friend's oven) turned off at some point in the cooking process based on a manufacturers preset safety mechanism. You can get around this by turning the oven off and then immediately back on.

Nov 25, 2011
Perfect Every Year
by: Harriette

We bake our turkey this way each year, ever since you gave us this recipe. THANK YOU! It has never failed, and everyone comments they have never had such a moist, tender turkey. Yum!!

Nov 25, 2011
Best Ever!!
by: Melysa

Thanks for the instructions, Annie!! One of my dinner guests said that this was the best turkey he'd ever eaten. I made a spicy, garlic and herb butter to put in between the skin and the meat, and stuffed it with apples and onions while it baked for 22 hours @ 180. It was great! Hope you had a wonderful day too~

Nov 25, 2011
NOT 500 degrees
by: annie

if you follow this recipe exactly the way it is written, as Adele Davis wrote it long ago, it will be perfect every time. 200 degrees will guarantee dry and overcooked. Critical to be 180 degrees, that is why it's important to pre-test each oven with an oven thermometer. HAPPY THANKKSGIVING!

Nov 20, 2011
slightly different temperature setting question
by: Anonymous

My mom's friend used teh Davis recipe in the 1960's. But I thought she said the recipe was 500 degrees for 20 minutes to kill the pathogens and then turn it down to 200 with an hour per pound.

Our family drove the 2-1/2 hour trip to her new home and waited until the bird was ready to eat. Our 2pm arrival left us sitting with hunger pangs until that bird was ready to eat at 9p.m. but I agree, it was the best turkey I ever et. And the chestnut stuffing was the piece de resistance!

I wonder if your instructions re degree settings are a wash with hers. Got any idea about that? I would really like to know, because I was thinking of doing that bird in a couple of days. :)

Oct 12, 2009
REALLY is perfect & moist!!!
by: Nance

This method has never failed our family, PERFECT every single time! Enjoy!

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