How to Season a Turkey: A Step by Step Guide

how to season turkey

On Thanksgiving Day, there is no debate that a nicely done roasted turkey is the star on the family dinner table, so it is a big deal about how well the turkey is roasted. Expecting a picture-perfect meal experience will naturally put a lot of pressure on the dinner host. Is Cooking a Perfect Turkey Difficult?

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    Is Cooking a Perfect Turkey Difficult?

    It’s a perception that roasting a turkey involves many complicated steps, from brining to marinating, rubbing and stuffing, etc. Also, as well as mastering temperature and cooking time. Thanks to many of these factors combined, it naturally forms a mystery. You can find many recipes everywhere, from food magazines to cookbooks to the most accessible world wide web! It doesn’t matter which recipe you have followed, the one you have succeeded or failed following; let’s throw ALL of that away from the past. Understanding the science behind the ingredient you cook will ALWAYS achieve a better product than blindly following a recipe. We only need to master three categories here: seasoning, time, and temperature. Follow this recipe a couple of times, and we believe that you will soon be able to create your VERY own recipe, have fun and be creative with it!!!

    A Simple Roast Turkey Recipe

    Prep Time 15 minutes

    Total Time 4 hour 15 minutes

    Servings 6 people


    For Turkey

    • 10-14 Pound Turkey
    • 2 Sprigs of Sage Herb
    • 4 Sprigs Rosemary
    • 3 Sprigs Thyme
    • 6 ounces of Sea Salt
    • 3-ounce Onion Powder
    • 8-ounce Old Bay Seasoning
    • 3 Whole Yellow Onions
    • 10 cloves of Garlic
    • 1 Whole Lemon
    • ½ Pound Salted Butter
    • ½ Philadelphia Cream Cheese
    • 1 tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 1 tablespoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning

    For the Gravy

    • 16 Ounce Chicken Broth
    • Salt to taste


    • Vegetable of Choice


    1. Preheat the grill to 500°F.
    2. Rinse the turkey with water and pat dry; set aside.
    3. On top of the breast area, it is recommended that we cut out the wishbone (A-Shaped Bone).
    4. cut out the wishbone of turkey
    5. Tide thyme, sage, and rosemary with kitchen twine to create a sachet.
    6. Tide thyme, sage, and rosemary
    7. Separate the skin of the turkey from the meat of the breast (do not rip the skin).
    8. Separate the skin of the turkey
    9. Melt the butter and cream cheese in the microwave.
    10. Melt the butter and cream cheese in the microwave
    11. Mash 10 cloves of garlic using a garlic press. Mix in grated parmesan cheese and lemon pepper seasoning, and place inside a refrigerator to cool.
    12. Mix in grated parmesan cheese and lemon pepper seasoning
    13. Place the turkey, breast side up, onto the roasting pan rack.
    14. Place the turkey onto the roasting pan rack
    15. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt; onion powder, and old bay seasoning.
    16. Place onions, lemon wedges, and the herbs sachet into the cavity of the turkey.
    17. Place onions, lemon wedges, and the herbs sachet into the cavity of the turkey
    18. Pour 1 cup of water into the roasting pan.
    19. Using a skewer, sew the turkey skin to close the cavity of the turkey (if you like to skip this step, you will need to baste the turkey with the liquor every 1.5 hours during the cooking process).
    20. Tie the end of both legs with kitchen twine.
    21. Tie the end of both legs with a kitchen twine
    22. When the butter spread is chilled, take it out from the cooler.
    23. Use one of your hands to grab the butter spread and spread in between the breast skin and meat evenly onto both breasts.
    24. Place the turkey into the preheated grill and immediately turn down the temperature to 280°F.
    25. Cook at 275°F for about 3.5 hours, and then turn up the heat to 400°F to cook for another 30 minutes.
    26. After the cooking process, take it out from the grill, use a thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the breast. If it has already reached 165°F, it is cooked properly.
    27. Open up the cavity and take out the lemon wedges and onion onto a plate; discard the lemon but keep the onions. Place the turkey aside to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving
    28. To make the gravy. Place the onion and herbs sachet in the same roasting pan from the turkey cavity. Also, add turkey wing tips and chicken broth into the pan.
    29. Reduce to liquid by half, turn the heat off; discard the herbs sachet and wing tips. Place everything else into the blender and blend until smooth.


    How to Choose a Turkey

    Pick a turkey between 10-14 pounds. The smaller, the better. Anything weighing more than 14 pounds will be much harder to yield tender breast meat.

    How to Roast a Turkey: Cook Times and Temperatures

    We’re going to cook this bird slow and low in the start using 280°F. Each pound of turkey requires 20 minutes of cook time (exp: 10 pounder Turkey requires 200 minutes which equals 3.5 hours, and then add 30 minutes of 400°F towards the end to crisp the skin)

    There are various cooking methods, and after trying many of them. Roasting it on the grill is the best method, hands down. Brining and basting are not necessary.

    How much salt do you use to season a turkey?

    The amount of salt for the rub should always be 1% in weight of how much the Turkey weights (exp: 10 pounder Turkey which is 160 ounces, times that by 0.01 equals 1.6 ounces of salt).

    What Herbs Go with Turkey?

    Rosemary and Thyme are the most popular herbs that pair well with turkey. We also list the items you will need for your feast to get started.

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    About The Author

    Z Grills

    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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