Best ever Turkey I make it every year! We brined our turkey for 24 hours, so leave plenty of time for this recipe. If you don't brine yours, skip steps 1 and 2. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking the turkey until the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees. For a moister bird, we cooked ours to 165 degrees; it will continue to cook outside the oven as it rests.