ChefMarc’s High Heat Turkey

Listen to the Chef:  Basting Dries out the Bird!

Every year, turkey is the victim of basting, which is a moisture-sapping process! Roasting, at 450◦-475◦ degrees, keeps the moisture in the bird if you prepare it correctly. Says, Chef Marc Vogel, a thirty year chef, who has cooked for 65 Presidents and heads of state throughout the world.

He Says “Basting breaks the moisture seal and dries out the turkey. When basting, you waste energy, heat up your kitchen and electric ovens take 8-11 minutes to re-cover. He is the author of “The Perfect Holiday Meal,” available on line at

“You can have the most succulent, flavorful and moist turkey you’ve ever cooked by following these simple directions.” Says Chef Vogel.

First, dry your 14 lbs. turkey inside and out with towels.  Place the turkey in roasting pan on a V-rack to hold the turkey.  Never! Put a turkey flat on the pan without a rack!  It will boil, not roast, and completely dry out.  Cook your stuffing in a side pan. Never use a fork to turn or lift the turkey, or any meat, as it will release juices from the bird or meat. So:

  • Pre-heat oven to 475◦ degrees, now with paper towels, completely dry inside and outside of the turkey.
  • Brush turkey inside and outside with oil, Season & Do not salt! Salt is anhydrous.  It dries out the turkey evaporating moisture.
  • Place turkey on Vrack in roasting pan. Remove excess skin around cavity.
  • Wedge a metal fork between the backbone and the bottom ribs keeping the Cavity open, this will allow heat to the backbone.
  • Cover the breasts and legs with Pam/oiled foil.
  • Add 4 cups of broth to roasting pan.
  • Conventional ovens, cook at (450◦ to 475◦ degrees), for two hours.
  • Convection ovens one and ½ hours, at 425◦ degrees.
  • Remove foil for last 20-25 minutes browning skin.
  • Do not baste!  This will break the caramelization. (Called “Assamar,”)

The turkey is ready at 155 ◦ degrees. Check temperature through the breast, with thermometer, adjust cooking time if needed. There’ll be residual cooking for 1/2 hour. Rest turkey thirty minutes before carving. Remove fork, deglaze pan for Gravy. Salt/pepper to taste (TT) after carving. 

Need some basic outlines for turkey roasting time? Look at the list below for approximate roasting time:

Turkey Weight Approximate Roasting Time

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

Take turkey out at 150 – 155 deg with thermometer in thick part under breast
Marc Vogel