Family Recipes and more...

High Heat Turkey Recipe

High Heat Turkey Recipe

If you want a fast way to make a juicy turkey, this recipe is for you. The turkey comes out juicy with a nice crispy skin. High Heat Turkey is the way to go.

High Heat Turkey

By author Adapted from Chef Marc


  • 12 pound Turkey (Fully thawed and room temperature)
  • Olive Oil
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Chicken Broth


6 Rules for the PERFECT High Heat Turkey:
1. Be sure your turkey is fully thawed and is close to room temperature. A frozen turkey means you will have a raw center or a dried up breast. The closer your turkey is to room temperature, the faster it will reach that desired high temperature.

2. Don't salt or use seasoned salt or any spice blends containing salt on the turkey before cooking.

3. Don't let the bird touch the pan. You want to roast the turkey, not stew it or steam it. When the turkey sits on the bottom of the pan instead of on a rack, or if it is squeezed into a too-small pan, the hot air is unable to envelope and circulate around the turkey, causing it to cook in it's juices rather than in a high heat roast.

4. Don't baste the turkey! It will break the caramelization, slow down the cooking, and use up the great pan juices that have accumulated. These juices are perfect for your gravy.

5. Don't use a fork to turn or check the turkey. Piercing the meat will allow flavorful meat juices to escape.

6. Don't cover the turkey with cheesecloth. I don't care what Martha says... covering the bird with cheesecloth will prevent browning and will make the turkey taste like cheesecloth. Of course, you may be into that kind of thing...

Guide for cooking times:

10 to 12 lb.: 1 1/4 hours + 1/2 hour
12 to 14 lb.: 1 1/2 hours + 1/2 hour
14 to 16 lb.: 1 3/4 hours + 1/2 hour
16 to 18 lb.: 2 hours + 1/2 hour
18 to 20 lb.: 2 1/4 hours + 1/2 hour
20+ lb.: 2 1/2+ hours + 1/2 hour

We recommend a 12 pound turkey for the best results.


Step 1
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees... Yes, that's right... 500 degrees. This is a high heat turkey, after all. At that temperature, it will be similar to a deep fried turkey.
Step 2
Dry the turkey inside and out. Set the giblets aside for your stuffing or gravy. This can be done in advance to give your giblets time to cook. Cut away the excess skin around the opening of the cavity to allow the air to circulate, causing the turkey to cook from the inside and outside.
Step 3
This next step really needs two people. One person will keep their hands clean and the other will be rubbing the turkey. In a pan or large bowl that you aren't cooking in, Season the turkey by doing the following:

* Person one will pour the olive oil onto the turkey while person two rubs it all over the outside of the turkey as well as inside cavity of the turkey. Be generous with the olive oil. Excess will drip off.

* Rub the Herbes de Provance all over the turkey. Again, have person one sprinkle the seasonings while person two rubs the seasonings on the inside and outside of the turkey.

Why are we doing this? The spices and olive oil will create a crust on the skin that seals in the flavor and juices.
Step 4
Wedge a fork inside the cavity to open it up more. (Optional)

Why? Heat cooks. Opening the cavity will allow the heat to cook the bird from the inside as well as the outside.
Step 5
Place the turkey breast side down on a rack in a large metal roasting pan. Again, be sure it is on a rack and not sitting directly in the pan.

Why a rack? The rack keeps the turkey from steaming. Why metal? It conducts heat better than glass or ceramic.
Step 6
Cover the top of the turkey, including the legs and wings with greased foil. We haven't tried the non-stick aluminum foil with this recipe yet.

Why cover it? High heat can cook too well. Loosely covering the top of the turkey will keep it from burning.
Step 7
Pour chicken broth, turkey broth, water, or white wine (or a combination of the three) onto the bottom of the pan to cover 3/4-1 inch -- depending on the height of your rack. You want to be sure this is lower than the lowest point of the rack so the turkey does not sit in the juice. As the turkey cooks, check the liquid every 30-45 minutes and add more in case it evaporates.

Why add liquid You want to catch the juices and fats as they drip from the turkey so they will not burn at the bottom of the pan while cooking in the high heat. You will be able to use this liquid as the base for your gravy.
Step 8
Cook the turkey at 500 degrees. At one hour, check to see how well the turkey is cooking. If it appears that the skin is starting to brown, move on to the next step. Otherwise, continue cooking for about 30 more minutes.
Step 9
Remove the foil and flip the turkey so that it is now breast side up. It is easiest to use clean oven mitts that you can immediately wash. Cook for another 30-45 minutes or until the instant read thermometer stuck deep in the thigh reads 155 degrees.

Note: Do not use prongs to turn the turkey as that will pierce the skin and you will loose all the juices.
Step 10
Remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 155 degrees and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Why am I letting it rest? Resting allows the juices to slow down in movement and allows the meat to reabsorb the juices.
Step 11
Time to EAT!

My father read an article online from Food Network a long time ago (we have no idea how long ago). This article was by Chef Marc who gave instructions for a high heat turkey. We are always dealing with not enough space in the oven for all the baked items (stuffing, rolls, yams, etc) that we needed a way to cut down the cooking time of the turkey.

Once my dad tried this recipe, he refuses (yes completely refuses) to use any other method. He doesn’t want a brined, smoked or any other turkey (of course, I usually try to sneak in a smoked turkey).

Be sure to read these instructions a day or two in advance so you know what to expect. You can do this with one person, but it makes it very difficult. If you do that, be sure to have the Olive Oil and Herbes de Provence in a separate bowl/container so as not to contaminate your jars/bottles with turkey.

I appologize for not having a picture yet. I will take pictures this Thanksgiving so you can see how beautiful this turkey turns out.

If you want other turkey recipes, these are some of my favorites as well:
* Smoked Turkey Breast (For when you have a smaller crowd)
* Leek Roasted Turkey (For when you don’t have the right kind of pan or rack)
* Smoked Turkey (well, do you need a reason for this one?)


High Heat Turkey by Dish Ditty Recipes
High Heat Turkey

9 thoughts on “High Heat Turkey Recipe”

  • This is GREAT. Perfect every time! When it is just turkey time and not a holiday we don’t bother to turn it right side up. Also sometimes change up the spices on non holiday turkeys….pesto can burn though; ?

  • I attempted a variation of your recipe yesterday (I have sentivities to various herbs & spices, so I skipped the herbs). My oven went to 500 degrees, but during baking, it would only go as high as 462. ??? I no longer have a large rack, so I attempted to put my 21 lb turkey (yes, there was only two of us, but at supermarket cheapo price, I wanted plenty of leftovers) on two small ones. Of course, it tipped over in the oven, fell to the bottom and when I attempted to clean the mess, set the paper towels on fire several times.

    But I managed to clean up the mess, put my gigantorous back in, guesstimated when it would be done, since my instant thermometor broke… AND IT WAS THE BEST TURKEY I EVER MADE!!! I’ll be roasting my turkey this way forever! (hopefully without burning down the building).

  • My friend told me this is how she cooked her juicy not tough turkey and I’m definitely doing this for Christmas! I’ll report back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.