For the days when time is of the essence, and you want to serve an impeccably cooked turkey, HoneyBaked Turkey is the superhero you need! The hardest thing for me, though, is choosing between the Cajun, Roasted, or Smoked because all three bring a whole lot of flavor in a very short time. Knowing everything there is to know about this turkey is definitely worth your while. So, how to cook a HoneyBaked Turkey?
Since HoneyBaked turkeys are fully cooked and ready to use, the cooking process is very simple and time-saving. Basically, it includes two main steps: thawing and baking, which are further broken down into stages. To cook a HoneyBaked requires nothing more than basic cooking skills.
Cooking this brand of turkey is a skill that you can definitely use since the process is a bit different than usual. Since it saves you a lot of time and energy, it allows you to enjoy your dinner more well-rested and energized. In this article, I give you step-by-step instructions on how to cook a delicious festive dinner with a HoneyBaked Turkey. So, let’s dive in!
HoneyBaked Turkey Cooking Instructions
In this short step-by-step guide, you will find all the information you need for an effortless cooking process of your HoneyBaked delicacy.
Step 1: Thawing
Often, thawing is perceived as an implied step, so not many people give it the attention it requires. Thawing may seem like an easy job, but if done improperly or if rushed, it can set the wrong tone for the entire cooking process.
The moment you have your turkey in your hands, remove it from the cooler and pop it into the fridge. Make sure you place it on the highest rack since, that way, it won’t absorb any fridge moisture or smells from the surrounding foods.
Let your turkey thaw for 48 to 96 hours in the fridge. Now, here’s the zinger — if you don’t want to wait this long for your HoneyBaked to thaw, you have the option to bake it from frozen. I will explain that later.
The important thing is to either let it thaw for the full amount of time it needs or cook it from frozen. Don’t interrupt the thawing process if it has already begun.
If you are not in a rush, it is good to know that your turkey will be safe and sound in your fridge for up to seven days after thawing. This information is very important to me because this way, I can have my turkey a week in advance, which saves me the stress of not being able to find one when I need it.
Step 2: Prepping
Since this turkey comes fully cooked and seasoned, you don’t need to spend much time on this step. Still, I like to do a few simple things to enhance its flavor.
I like to rub some oil on it and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. I then let it rest for 15 minutes and pop it in the oven. Still, just because you can skip this step, it doesn’t mean that you have to.
If you feel creative, you can try out a few marinating mixtures, such as honey glaze, balsamic marinate, olive oil and herbs, orange glaze, etc.
Step 3: Baking
Baking the turkey is what seems to scare most people. It usually takes forever to do it, and you can’t just sit back and relax while the oven does the job for you. Well, HoneyBaked Turkey saves you all that time and effort, reducing them to the absolutely necessary minimum.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, i.e., 176 °C, for about 10 -15 minutes before you pop the turkey in. Loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil and place it on a baking tray. Place it into the oven on the middle rack to ensure it will heat up equally from all sides.
Close the oven hatch and let the turkey cook for about one and a half to two hours without disturbing it. Basting isn’t a necessary step here, but if you want to, you can baste it once or twice during the second hour.
Step 4: Resting and Carving
Once your HoneyBaked centerpiece is done baking, the next step is to let it rest. This is where many people get eager and want to serve it immediately, and I don’t blame them. Still, you have to be patient and observe this final step.
Once you remove the turkey from the oven, place it on the counter, on a heat-proof surface, of course, and let the juices balance inside the meat. This shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes.
Once the resting time has passed, carve the turkey carefully with proper utensils. Enjoy!
What to Serve With Honeybaked Turkey?
Serving Honeybaked turkey is the best part. You can serve it with the old classics, but you can also go with something more experimental and original. Essentially, how you serve your Honeybaked turkey is entirely up to you, but go through the ideas below for some extra inspiration.
Kicking this list off with the classics. You can never go wrong with potatoes in any shape or form. You can go with the most traditional side, i.e., mashed potatoes, or serve your Honeybaked turkey with fries or baked potatoes.
The sweet and tangy cranberry sauce is another classic that never goes out of style.
Roasted or grilled veggies are another delicious pairing option for your Honebaked turkey. The best thing is all veggies work, so you don’t have to plan ahead because you can use whatever you have in your fridge.
Sautéed Green Beans
Light, crunchy, and very easy to prepare, sautéed green beans are one of my favorite turkey sides. Just pop them in a wok and let them cook. Season and enjoy!
Creamy and comforting, creamed corn offers a velvety texture and sweet flavor that pairs deliciously with the tender HoneyBaked Turkey.
Spinach Salad With Peanuts and Olives
If you want to introduce a bit of umami to your dinner table, this salad is just the thing. Chop the spinach and mix it with olives and peanuts. Season with a pinch of salt, olive oil, and balsamic glaze.
If you can’t think of anything else, you can always go with stir-fried rice or even plain cooked rice. Soak it with gravy, and you have a heavenly Honeybaked turkey pair in no time.
Honeybaked Turkey Cooking Variations
As I mentioned before, you can add your own twist of magic to cooking your HoneyBaked Turkey. During prep time, you can experiment with spices and seasoning to adjust the taste to your preferences.
Make a honey and balsamic vinegar glaze and massage the turkey before baking. Another simple trick I love is to rub it with melted butter, salt, and pepper for extra crispy skin and more butter meat.
You can also stuff it. Do the classic breadcrumb and veggie stuffing, or go with something fancier, such as mushrooms, cheese, etc.
Baking From Frozen
The second option you have is to bake your Honeybaked turkey from frozen. If you choose this option, skip step one and go directly with step two, which will need some adjustments.
The oven temperature remains the same, i.e., 350 °F, i.e., 176 °C but the baking time increases. So, instead of baking your turkey for one and a half- two hours, you bake it for four to four and a half hours.
Since you will be cooking the turkey longer, I recommend you baste it twice or thrice during the last hour.
Once it’s done, let it rest for 15-20 minutes, carve, and serve.
How to Store Leftovers?
Depending on when you plan on having your Honeybaked turkey leftovers, you have two storage options- the fridge and the freezer.
Despite popular opinion, the counter or the pantry is never a good storage option. Just because the turkey is fully cooked doesn’t mean that it has somehow become impervious to spoilage. So, never leave it at room temperature longer than necessary and over two hours.
If you need short-term storage, place your turkey leftovers in an airtight container and pop them in the fridge. They will be safe and sound for up to five days. If you don’t have an airtight container, use a plate and wrap it tightly with plastic foil.
If you want to store them for longer, place your turkey leftovers in the freezer, where they will stay good for up to three months. Depending on the size and texture, you can use either a plastic airtight container or freezer baggies.
I also love to pack my turkey leftovers to go for my family and friends. What do you do with your turkey leftovers? Excited to read about your ideas for turkey leftovers in the comments below!
HoneyBaked Roasted Turkey Cooking Instructions
- 1 HoneyBaked Roasted Turkey
- 1 ½ tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F, i.e., 176 °C, for about 10 -15 minutes.
- In the meantime, take your thawed turkey out of the fridge, mix the olive oil, salt, and pepper in, and rub it into the turkey. Let it marinate until the oven is preheated.
- Loosely cover the Honeybaked turkey with aluminum foil and place it on a baking tray. Place the turkey into the oven on the middle rack.
- After 1 hour is up, baste your turkey with the juices.
- Bake it for one more hour after basting, until the turkey is warm.
- Let it rest for a few minutes and it's ready for serving! Bon appetit!