Thanksgiving Turkey: The Easiest Way! (Countdown to Thanksgiving!)

Thanksgiving Turkey Hacks!

Y’all.  It’s the week of Thanksgiving already!  (Breathe in.  Breathe out).  Let’s start this Monday of Thanksgiving week by going over the easiest way to cook a Thanksgiving turkey and what needs to get done today.  I shared free hacks and printables for the big day and I promised we’d start the “to-do” part of our Thanksgiving printable together!  I’ll share my Turkey recipe (with a video and a printable recipe card below) and we’ll have fun with our to-do list.  Let’s get started, shall we?!

FABULOUS Thanksgiving Turkey Hacks for a STRESS FREE DaY!

Although we won’t start cooking the Thanksgiving turkey or other meats today, it’s important to have a plan.  Here’s the to-do list concerning Tom the Turkey today:

  • Buy the turkey (if you haven’t already)
  • Reference this for how much meat to buy
  • If frozen, put turkey in frig
  • If thawed already, put turkey in frig
  • Make supply list for turkey recipe
  • Read & watch how easy it is below
  • Calm down  😉

Cooking a thanksgiving turkey has given so many people anxiety.  I used to get anxious too but once I found the foolproof, simple hacks to pull off a juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside bird a few times, the stress went away.  I want to help you actually enjoy Thanksgiving Day! There’s more to it than the meal – we can’t let a bird ruin the day.

Thanksgiving Turkey

I’ve created a printable recipe card for you below, but first, I’m sharing an old video of how to roast a turkey.  The only reason I made him a day early is because we had to travel out of town the next morning to spend the meal with family.  Enjoy!

Can’t view video?  Watch How to Cook the Bird!
Here’s the printable recipe card I promised you:
Thanksgiving Turkey: The Easiest Way!
  • One large turkey or two smaller ones
  • large pan for turkey
  • roasting rack or chopped veggies
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water or broth
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove packaging around and inside of turkey.
  3. Rinse turkey thoroughly inside and out.
  4. Let turkey sit and dry a bit while you chop veggies or get roasting rack.
  5. Put veggies or roasting rack in bottom of pan with sides.
  6. Pour 1 cup of broth or water in bottom of pan.
  7. Season turkey inside and out with all spices listed.
  8. Place turkey on top of veggies or rack - breast side up.
  9. Put turkey in the oven and immediately turn temp. down to 350 degrees.
  10. Roast turkey 10-13 minutes for every pound until 160 degrees in thickest part.
  11. Remove turkey from oven and pour its own broth over top every 45 minutes until done.

Thanksgiving Turkey To-Dos

Thanksgiving Turkey Meal Planner (FREE)

Let’s move onto what we can do today (Monday) to help our Thanksgiving Turkey Day go off without a hitch and too much stress!

Our only “To-Dos” over the weekend were to choose how many folks & amount of meat needed, the menu, and to buy the groceries.  Didn’t do any of that yet or missed this conversation?  No worries!

Read all about it and get your free printables HERE and just try to buy your groceries before you hit the hay tonight!

Your only other goals today are to make sure your turkey is in the refrigerator (especially if it’s frozen-it needs 3 days to thaw there!), put canned cranberry sauce in the refrigerator, and write on your planner which two rooms need cleaning the most before Thanksgiving day.

Start with your most chaotic room that HAS to be cleaned first.  Just set a timer for however long can work on it today and work as quickly as you can.  I promise you that if you dig your heels in and get the worst two rooms done today, your stress level will plummet.  Then you’ll have the joy of crossing that off of your list before drifting off to sleep tonight.

That’s all for today, friend.  Remember – you are not going to stress about the Thanksgiving turkey!  I’ll be back tomorrow with another day in our Countdown to Thanksgiving.  I’ll bring another easy Thanksgiving recipe and what we can accomplish on our “to-do” list to make the big day more fun!

Do you feel better now about making the Thanksgiving turkey?

Hacks & Video to EASILY cook Thanksgiving Turkey!!!–> Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already and you’ll get an email automatically tomorrow when I write you!  You’ll also receive a fun freebie that I made just for my new, busy wifey friends.  Follow along daily with The How-to Guru Facebook page , Twitter, and/or Instagram<—

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Published on Huffington Post, Okefenokee Living Magazine, her local newspaper and more, Shan Walker is jokingly called the “Guru.” A Travel Journalist, Wife, and Mom who shares daily “how to” enjoy planning and executing EVERY single family vacation AND “how-to” find joy with your family in the cozy haven you’ve created and can’t wait to get home to!



  1. November 21, 2016 / 1:42 pm

    Although we’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada these tips are gonna be great for Christmas – especially because I’ve never made a turkey before!

  2. November 21, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Love the daily breakdown! The holidays are so much less stressful to me when I break every task down and assign a time to it!

  3. November 21, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    It’s amazing how much time you need to prepare for this holiday! 3 days to thaw! Thanks for the tips.

  4. November 22, 2016 / 7:38 am

    Great tips! Using a checklist is so helpful.

  5. November 22, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    Great tips. I’m cooking a turkey for the first time this year! Hopefully it turns out yummy! Also getting the “big” room cleaned has made everything else seem easy!

  6. Nichole @The Titan Adventures
    November 23, 2016 / 1:16 am

    Mmm, looks so simple and delicious! Thanks for sharing! I love the meal planner, I need to print this for my mom who is cooking this year.

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