Guide To Turkey Roasting

November 06, 2017 in Category: Guides

Get Your Gobbler - Fresh Turkeys Arrive November 10th!

Trader Joe's Fresh All Natural Young Turkeys
  • All Natural Brined Turkeys: $1.99/lb
  • All Natural Glatt Kosher Turkeys: $2.49/lb
  • Organic Young Turkeys: $3.99/ lb
  • From U.S. farms in CA, MN, NY & PA
  • Raised on 100% vegetarian feed diet
  • No Antibiotics or growth hormones
  • Limited quantity—don't wait!

Turkey Size Selection Tip: Want leftovers?
Figure about 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds per person.


Become A Roastmaster In Seven Steps

Trader Joe's Roastmaster

1) Gather Ingredients

Time: depends on your shopping list

Trader Joe's Thanksgiving Shopping Bag
  • 1 TJ’s Fresh All Natural Turkey
  • 2 Sticks of TJ’s Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 package TJ’s Fresh Sage
  • 1 package TJ’s Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 package TJ’s Fresh Thyme
  • TJ’s Sea Salt, to taste
  • TJ’s Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 TJ’s Yellow Onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 TJ’s Lemons, cut in quarters

2) Turkey Wrangling

Time: 20 minutes

Trader Joe's Turkey

Our turkeys are never frozen, but we do keep them super cold. Plan to buy your bird a few days in advance. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least 1 day of "mellowing out" in the fridge for every four pounds of meat. Got a 12 pound bird? Plan on three days. A 16 pound bird? Four days. Then, on the big day, take the turkey out of the fridge and unwrap and remove the temporary wire truss. Locate and remove neck & giblets (don’t see ‘em? don’t forget to check the back end), set aside for potential future use (stuffing, gravy, soup or gumbo). Pat the bird dry, inside and out, with paper towels and set on a clean, flat surface.


3) Prepare Fresh Herb-Butter Elixir

Time: 20 minutes 

Trader Joe's Butter Elixir Ingredients: Butter, Rosemary, Thyme and Sage

Chop half a package each of fresh Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (Parsley is vacationing at Scarborough Faire). Using a food processor, or by hand, mix herbs, salt, pepper and butter until well blended. Place the mixture on cling wrap and roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm and ready for use. Bundle the other half of the herbs with kitchen twine and set aside for stuffing the cavity [see step four].


4) “Beautify” The Bird

Time: 15 minutes

Beautify your Trader Joe's Turkey with lemons, herbs and onions

Transfer turkey to a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Loosen skin by gently sliding your fingers between the skin and breast and working them down to the thigh (note: gentleness is key so as  to avoid puncturing the skin). Cut 3/4 of the herb-butter log into disks. Rub 1 disk on outer skin (to encourage cirspness) and carefully push and mush the remainder under the skin. Stuff the cavity with onions, lemons and the bundle of herbs. Melt remaining herb butter for basting and set aside.


5) It’s Trussing Time

Time: 5-10 minutes (if you’re a novice)

You will need twine and an attitude to truss your Trader Joe's Turkey

Why truss? Trussing the bird ensures even cooking and ease of carving. Truss the bird according to your tradition. You can keep it loose: tucking the wings snugly under the bird and tying the legs together, making sure the skin flap gets tucked up between them. Or you can make a serious harness for the bird.



6) Pre-heat Oven to 400ºF

Time: blink of an eye

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees






7) Ready To Roast*

Time: 3-5 hours

Ready to Roast!

Place the bird in the oven and roast 30 minutes. After about 30 minutes, turn the heat down to 325ºF. After about 1 hour, baste every 30 minutes with reserved melted herb butter. At 2 hours or when bird reaches desired color (brownness), baste once more and tent with foil. Begin checking the temperature in the thigh meat (thickest part of bird), taking care not to let your meat thermometer touch bone. Cooking time depends on the bird’s size, your oven’s temperament and other unforeseen variables. You’ll know it’s done when the thermometer registers 165ºF and the juices run clear out of the bird. Let the bird rest for 20-30 minutes prior to releasing your “official turkey carver.”


Trader Joe's Stuffed Roasted Turkey

Ride The Gravy Train

Gravy is the proverbial icing on the Thanksgiving cake. Its rich flavor complements roast turkey and caramelized vegetables, and it adds umami-laden moisture to herby stuffing and fluffy mashed potatoes. And consider this – no other Thanksgiving dish calls for a boat as its specific serving vehicle. We think that makes it pretty important, which is why we have two ready-to-pour options, as well as an heirloom family recipe to help you achieve gravy glory this year.


Turkey Gravy | 17.6 oz. | $1.49 

For the "ready-or-not" crowd or the best-laid plans that have gone awry (it happens), our Turkey Gravy will smooth out the bumps (and lumps) in your holiday dinner-making. This at-your-fingertips gravy solution is rich and full of flavor - fresh roasted turkey and herbs. An added bonus? It's pantry-stable, which means you can stock up on as many containers as you need and it will be ready to heat and serve whenever you are, whether you're prepping for Thanksgiving Day or a Tuesday night dinner.



Kettle Cooked Turkey Gravy | 16 oz. | $3.99 kettle cooked turkey gravy

Gravy traditionalists will say that nothing beats gravy made from scratch, but our Kettle Cooked Turkey Gravy does beat it - because it's gravy made from scratch by somebody else! Sautéed onions and celery are thickened with a classic roux of flour and rendered turkey fat, enlivened with rich turkey stock, fragrant sage and thyme, and finished with a splash of white wine. It's kettle-cooked in small batches and packed in a resealable tub, ready for you to heat and serve.

Grandmommy's Gravy

Have a bit more time on your hands to prepare gravy goodness from scratch? Look no further than Grandmommy’s Gravy, an heirloom family recipe that's been handed down for four generations. Proceed with caution: one taste and you'll be tempted to slurp this Southern classic right out of the gravy boat.


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Tags: Thanksgiving, Turkey