How To Cook A 40 Pound Turkey

So this is a follow up on the blog post How Not To Cook a 40 Pound Turkey.  I did use the advice of JRJ again but made some important changes.  Here is the turkey after thawing in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Here is the label for out turkey that we had butchered last fall.  It is actually a 42.4 pound bird.

Tom cut the legs and tail off.  So now it fits in a large roasting pan.  This pan has higher walls than the pan we used last time so will hold more liquid to prevent a catastrophe (fire ball).  

I put unsalted butter on the skin and placed a branch of sage in the cavity.  It went into the oven at 325 degrees on convection at around 9:30 this morning.

And I stayed in the house all day and babysat this turkey.  I checked it at exactly 30 minute intervals with the help of a timer and used a baster to remove any liquid that was accumulating.  At 3 hours the juices really started to flow.

The turkey was done at 4:30 in the afternoon.

I then made turkey gravy, 6 cups of it, from the retrieved liquid.  

This is Tom carving the turkey breast.

And this is my turkey dinner.I have since packaged up the leftover turkey meat and gravy, freezing most of it for future use.  I am now making turkey stock with the remnants.  Tomorrow I will cook the turkey legs.  So this is how you cook a 40# turkey.

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7 Responses to How To Cook A 40 Pound Turkey

  1. Jeanne says:

    You did an excellent job! I’ll bet it’s delicious! The hardest part was probably getting it into and out of the oven. My mom always made soup from cooking the leftover carcass. So I’ve done that too. It’s definitely worth it. My younger daughter has been smoking turkeys for years. I think she did six birds for this past Thanksgiving. Of course she uses smaller birds than your 40+ pounder! !

    • Donna says:

      It was delicious. Now a lot of work dealign with the remnants. You are right though, the hardest part was getting it in and out of the oven. I am making broth with the leftovers. I would love to smoke turkeys. We do not have a smoker yet but definitely want one.

  2. FullyFleeced says:

    wow. that’s a big turkey. i don’t think that we could even fit a turkey that size in our little oven!

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  4. Betty Zenk says:

    I have a forty pound turkey that we butchered. I have never cooked a turkey this large, I think cutting the legs off will be a good trick. I always use a bag, but non of the bags in the store are for more than 25lbs I think I will try to put together two bags wish me luck

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