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Closed Oven Turkey

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This turkey is always super-moist, tender and so flavorful! This is my in-laws’ tried and true recipe. They’ve been roasting their turkey this way for over 30 years.

Closed Oven Turkey

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 7 hours


  • 1 turkey, 12-20 pounds completely thawed
  • 2 stalks celery rough chopped
  • 1 large apple rough chopped
  • 1 large onion rough chopped
  • ½ cup butter cut in 8 pieces (1 stick)
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp pepper
  • Roasting pan with lid *that will close tightly with turkey inside*


  1. Rinse the thawed turkey, save neck and organs for making stock later if you desire. Pat the turkey dry and place it breast-side up in the roaster pan. If the lid doesn’t close tightly over the turkey, you will need to break the breastbone to ensure a tight fit. Otherwise, do not use this recipe.
  2. Put some pieces of the celery, apple, onion, and butter in the turkey cavity. Do not overstuff. Put all remaining pieces around the sides of the turkey. Rub a light coating of olive oil on the turkey and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Add a cup of water to the bottom of the roaster pan and cover making sure the lid fits tightly. The turkey should have some clearance so that it is not touching the roaster lid.
  4. Place the bird in a preheated oven and cook at 500 for one hour, then turn off the oven and *do not open* for 5-6 hours (depending on the size of your turkey).

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