Everyone yearns to pull out a perfectly golden-brown turkey with crisp skin, but what's the trick? I asked a Turkey Talk expert at Butterball, who said America has got to stop basting and glazing. I know this goes against everything generations before you may have said, but basting the bird just cools down the oven and makes the turkey take longer to reach the right temperature.
The turkey skin will brown, so long as you brushed it with a high-heat oil or clarified butter before putting in the oven. Butterball says turkey skin is like a raincoat and the drippings just drip right off, anyway. So why bother basting? The drippings can be used for the gravy.
In addition, don't open the oven repeatedly. It's so tempting to check on the bird, but use the oven light for that. Position the turkey and the oven-safe thermometer in such a way that you can read the temperature through the window. However, if your oven doesn't have a window (or you don't have an oven-safe thermometer), there's always simple math. Calculate the amount of time it will take you to cook the bird, and rely on a timer. There's only one real food safety check you should do, and that's after four hours of cooking (in a 325°F oven), the bird should reach an internal temperature of 135°F.