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overhead photo of no base cheesecloth turkey

No-Baste Cheesecloth Turkey

  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 roasted turkey 1x


No-baste cheesecloth turkey is the easiest way to ensure a flavorful, crispy skin, beautiful golden turkey without having to constantly open the oven door.



  • 14 to 18 pound turkey
  • 1 orange, cut in quarters
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in half
  • 1 celery rib, cut in half
  • 1 head garlic, halved through the equator
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water
  • 2 square yards cheesecloth


Inside the bird

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.  Remove any gibblets from the cavity of the turkey.  Inside the bird, stuff 2 orange quarters, 2 onion quarters, carrot, celery, the top half of the garlic, and half of all the herb.
  2. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey and place breast side up on the rack inside a roasting pan.
  3. In a large saucepan, add the remaining orange, onion, herbs, and butter.  Melt over medium heat until the butter starts to bubble and the ingredients are fragrant.  Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes.
  4. Once cooled enough to handle add the cheesecloth to the pan, making sure the entire cheesecloth is soaked with butter.  Drape the cheesecloth over the entire turkey.  Add the remaining herbs, orange,  onion, chicken stock and water to the bottom of the pan.  The amount of water you add will vary depending on the size of your turkey and your roasting pan.  There should be at least 2 inches of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Roast the turkey at 450°F for 45 minutes.  Reduce the oven to 350°F and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours – or about 10 to 12 minutes per pound.  The internal temperature of your turkey should be a minimum of 161°F for the breast and 181°F in the thigh (the turkey will continue to cook as it rests.)
  6. Let rest for a minimum of 15 minutes before carving.


  • When checking the temperature on your bird, take the whole bird out of the oven.
  • If your thermometer is oven safe you can keep it in the bird throughout cooking so you don’t have to keep stabbing your bird and letting precious juice out.
  • The more you open and close the oven, the longer your turkey will take to cook.  If you plan on cooking a lot of sides in the oven as well, give yourself a little extra time.  If the turkey is done early, you can always pull it out and cover will foil to keep warm.
  • Liquid in the roasting pan – you want enough liquid in the roasting pan to keep the oven steamy during cooking and to have some left over to make your gravy.  The longer your turkey takes to cook, the more liquid you will need.  If the liquid is almost gone before the turkey is done cooking, add more chicken stock or water so the drippings in the pan do not burn.
  • Category: Thanksgiving
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to cook a turkey, no-baste turkey, cheesecloth method, cheesecloth turkey

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