The Best Tasting Bird: Turkey Roasting Guide

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diestel_turkey_lgWe are on the final countdown to Thanksgiving and wanted to share some roasting tips from our friends over at Diestel Turkey Ranch, including a tip on how to make a truly marvelous gravy. They have done a lot of experimental cooking with their turkeys and have found what they believe to be the ideal way to roast these birds.

Enjoy this recipe that comes with every Diestel turkey.


Preheat oven to 325º F. Remove soft oven ready turkey from the bag. After removing the neck and giblets from the body cavities rinse the bird with cold water. Pat turkey dry with a paper towel. If you choose to stuff your bird this would be the time to do so.


Rub the exterior of turkey with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made of the following ingredients:

4 Tbsp oil, (melted butter, margarine, olive oil, etc.)
4 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. paprika

Place the turkey in an open roasting pan, breast side up. Cover the bottom of the pan with approximately 2 cups water or broth. Place your beautiful turkey in the oven.


Use a 325º F oven. We would encourage you to check the internal temperature throughout the roasting time to be careful not to over-roast. The internal temperature typically increases more rapidly during the last half of roasting.

There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. A foil tent can be placed loosely over the turkey during the last hour of roasting to prevent over browning. For truly marvelous gravy, heat (do not boil) 1 cup white wine. Pour this over your turkey halfway through the roasting time. When the turkey reaches the desired internal temperature, remove from the oven. Cover and let stand for at least 15 minute before carving.

*Please note that suggested roasting times may vary. If the turkey is unstuffed, decrease the roasting times listed below approximately 3O minutes.


Diesel turkeys are chilled for freshness. Prior to bagging, their turkeys are chilled in ice (not re-chilled water), in small tanks. Each tank of turkeys receives fresh, clean ice water. Once in a bag they hold their birds in refrigeration as cold as possible without freezing. While the USDA allows turkeys to be label fresh when held as low as 26º F, they chill only to 28º F.

Chilling is Diestel’s only way of maintaining its wholesomeness since they do not use preservatives or additives. Chilling can result in a cold, firm turkey they term “crusted” and that they feel is ideal for you to take home to your refrigeration, allowing transportation time for that last minute stop. In preparing for your oven, a firm turkey will easily soften by merely submerging the turkey, in its bag, under cold running water.


To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks. The nylon truss is oven and microwave safe and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 450º F.


Skim and strain freshly roasted turkey drippings into a saucepan over medium heat. If you’re short on drippings, add 1-2 cups water or broth back into your roasting pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Strain and incorporate into your drippings. Whisking constantly, gradually add drippings to a roux (butter cooked with flour). Reduce heat to low; simmer gently for gravy to thicken and flavors to meld. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper.