This tender and juicy oven roasted turkey gets a little heat thanks to a basting of spiced up, buttery buffalo hot sauce and is a refreshing deviation from the traditional Thanksgiving turkey.
After this bird shows up to the table, Thanksgiving may never be the same. Most people who know me, know that I am not what most would consider a traditionalist. Take Thanksgiving for example. It’s the ultimate traditional holiday. There’s gotta be turkey, and mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, and is it even Thanksgiving without some pumpkin pie? Oh, and don’t forget the rolls.
You can never go wrong with the classics, but sometimes you need to shake things up. This turkey does just that, while still complementing the usual Thanksgiving sides. By basting the skin with the buttery hot sauce (I used Frank’s Hot Sauce) the skin gave a great balance of spiciness, but not overwhelmingly so. You’ll find yourself sneaking back for seconds, thirds, and fourths. Yeah, it’s that good.
What’s in This Buffalo Oven Roasted Turkey?
This buffalo turkey is such a fun departure from your traditional oven-roasted turkey. Don’t be intimidated to try something different. I’m giving you permission because this turkey is so worth it. Not only is it insanely delicious, it still works amazingly with all the regular sides.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the best roasted turkey with an addicting buffalo sauce:
- 12-14 lb turkey
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Aromatics (i.e. onion quarters, celery stalks, carrots, etc.)
- Hot sauce
How to Roast a Turkey
If you’ve never roasted a whole turkey before, don’t panic. It’s really not as tricky or stressful as you’d think.
First, place the turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan. Then, work some butter underneath the turkey skin (this keeps the meat moist and flavorful).
Stuff that turkey with aromatics. Place onions, carrots, celery, turnips, oranges or lemons, and lots of fresh herbs in the cavity of the bird.
Add chicken stock or water to the roasting pan and use it to baste the turkey as it cooks. The drippings that release from the turkey will flavor the basting mixture.
Make your buttery buffalo sauce. After the oven roasted turkey has been in the oven for about 2 hours, whip up the buffalo sauce and baste the turkey liberally with it. Return the turkey to the oven for 30 minutes, then baste again with the buffalo sauce and pop it back in the oven for 30 minutes more or until an instant read thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the inner thigh.
How Long to Roast a Turkey
If using a 12-14 lb turkey, you’ll need to roast it for about 3 hours total. The turkey first gets roasted at 500ºF for 30 minutes, then the heat is lowered to 350ºF and roasted for another 30 minutes. At this point, you should tent the turkey with foil and let it roast for another 30 minutes before basting it in its juices. Roast for 30 minutes again, then baste with the buffalo sauce. After another 30 minutes in the oven, the oven roasted turkey is done.
What Hot Sauce Should I Use?
For that classic buffalo sauce flavor, you’ll want to use Frank’s Hot Sauce. If you’re not a Frank’s fan, sub your favorite hot sauce.
How to Reheat Turkey
If you wind up with leftovers of this buffalo oven roasted turkey (lucky you!), you’ll want to reheat them in a 350ºF oven. Place the turkey in a baking dish and drizzle in a little broth to prevent the bird from drying out. Cover with foil and pop into the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
3 Tips for Making the Best Roasted Turkey
Following these easy tips ensures a tender, juicy, perfectly cooked bird every time.
- Don’t cook the bird with bread stuffing inside. But, do stuff the cavity with aromatics for flavor that bakes into the meat from the inside.
- Know that suggested cook times are a gauge of how long it takes to cook a turkey. Depending on how big your bird or how cold it is going into the oven, they are not absolute. Always rely on your thermometer to tell you whether that golden bird is really done or not.
- Always let it rest. Before carving, allow the turkey to rest and reabsorb all of the juices for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
What to Serve With Your Buffalo Roasted Turkey
- Green Bean Casserole with Onion Rings
- Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing
- Heavenly Funeral Potatoes
- 5-Ingredient Stovetop Steamed Spinach
- The Best Easy Stuffing Recipe
- My Favorite Ambrosia Salad
- Easy Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
- Maple Buttered Sweet Potato Wedges
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Buffalo Oven Roasted Turkey
- 1- 12 to 14-pound turkey , giblets and neck removed; bird rinsed and patted dry, at room temperature
- 12 tablespoons butter , softened
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Aromatics , such as onion quarters, celery stalks, carrots, and fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or parsley
- 1 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot)
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Place turkey (breast side up) on rack placed inside a roasting pan. Pry your fingers in between the skin and meat of the turkey and work 3 tablespoons of butter under skin on breast and legs. Rub 1 additional tablespoon butter on the outside of the skin. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tuck wing tips under body and stuff the cavity of turkey with aromatics if desired. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
- Place the turkey into the preheated oven and pour 1 ½ cups water into the roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes.
- Lower the heat to 350°F and roast for 30 more minutes. Butter 1 side of a large piece of aluminum foil and tent the turkey breast with the foil, butter side down. Rotate the turkey and baste with juice in the pan every 30 minutes, or for about 1 hour.
- Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in small sauté pan and whisk in the hot sauce. Use a large spoon to baste the turkey liberally with the sauce and roast for another 30 minutes. Baste again and return to oven for 30 minutes more or until instant read thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the inner thigh.
- Total cooking time should be about 3 hours depending on your oven.
- Transfer to a carving board and tent loosely with foil for 30 minutes before carving. Serve with additional sauce if desired.
More Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes You’ll Love
- Juicy Roast Turkey Breast
- Herb Butter Rotisserie Turkey
- Roasted Turkey Breast with Lemon and Oregano
- Turkey Pot Pie Soup (great for using up leftovers!)
- Curry Turkey Pot Pie with Homemade Butter Crust (ditto)
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