Ree Drummond’s Turkey Hack Is the Shortcut You Need This Thanksgiving

published Nov 16, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Roasted holiday turkey with photo of Ree Drummond.
Credit: Top to bottom: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images; Joe Lingeman

Thanksgiving is probably the meal we look forward to the most all year. From delicious turkey and stuffing to all the sides and desserts, there’s a whole lot of amazing food to enjoy around the table with our favorite people. That said, it’s a lot of work to put all of those delicious dishes together, so we’re always looking for as many shortcuts as possible to save time and make Thanksgiving Day as stress free as possible. So as we surf the web to try and find the best hacks out there to make cooking on Turkey Day even easier, we like to turn to some of our favorite celeb chefs, and this most recent hack from Ree Drummond is one that we’re absolutely giving a try this Thanksgiving. Why? Because it makes roasting your turkey even easier!

Ree Drummond’s Hack for Roasting Turkey Quickly

Ree Drummond of Food Network’s “The Pioneer Woman” is used to making big meals for a big family and has found some of her own time-saving tricks along the way. Rather than buying a frozen turkey, waiting for it to defrost and then roasting, resting, and carving, she cuts the work in half. One of her greatest Thanksgiving hacks is that she gets her turkey pre-butchered and then cooks it the day before Turkey Day.

She does this by having her butcher cut the turkey into pieces and then nestles them into herbs for roasting. Cooking the turkey the day before and having it cut into pieces for roasting helps with the cooking process in a few ways. “It cooks a lot faster than if you have to cook the whole turkey itself,” she explains. But it also saves you all that time you would have spent carving on Thanksgiving Day.

Of course, by roasting the turkey already butchered, that makes stuffing an issue. But that’s okay: there are all sorts of great dressing recipes to try!

Ree’s Tips for Deliciously Roasted Turkey

Ree starts by sprinkling her butchered turkey with salt and pepper. You are going to want to do this generously, because this is a big part of the flavor. She then dots the surface of the turkey skin with pats of butter. “I think butter is the best seasoning to put on the outside of the turkey,” she says in the video. “It just makes everything so golden and wonderful.” 

Ree follows up those dots of butter with a generous drizzle of olive oil for good measure. She then places it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes. When it’s done, it should have golden crispy skin, thanks in part to the help of that butter and oil.

The turkey should then be covered up to rest before coming back for carving. This will be an easy process in this case as the turkey is already butchered. The carved turkey will go onto a sheet pan in the fridge, covered with foil, and is ready for the big day.

Tips for Reheating Cooked Turkey

The beauty of a previously cooked turkey is that the hard part is already done come Turkey Day. As Ree Drummond’s turkey is cooked the day before the big meal, she then heats it up with some chicken broth, to keep the meat juicy — because the last thing we want is dry turkey on Thanksgiving.

This goes covered into the 350 degree oven for about an hour. The chicken broth in the pan will steam inside the foil but also keep the turkey moist.

This method keeps a lot of the work ahead of the big event, and lets you focus on the sides and cocktails. Or maybe just quality time spent with loved ones being grateful for all you have enjoyed together!