The folks at Yumsugar tested the "Jennie-O Over-Ready Turkeys," whole birds which are sealed in a fancy plastic bag, allowing them to be tossed directly into a waiting oven with no thawing. It sounds like a good way for someone who hasn't cooked much before to make a turkey, although the lack of a gibblets/innards/neck pack makes me weep for the stuffing and gravies that won't be made.
The experience is absolutely effortless, but not totally flawless. I didn't wait for the popup button to pop up – I find that by that time, the birds are usually overcooked – so I went with the thermometer method instead. Unfortunately, due to the plastic bag that the turkey is roasting – or is it steaming? – in, it was really difficult to see exactly where you were sticking the thermometer. I also found that gravy made from the drippings was too salty with a hint of artificial flavor to it.
The Jennie-O turkeys are said to be found in stores for around $25. If you like to cook at all, though, and are as cheap as I am, I really suggest learning how to cook a proper turkey. After Thanksgiving the prices drop precipitously and it's worth buying a couple. The meat freezes well and the bones makes wonderful stock, perfect for risottos and soups.
Is the Jennie-O Oven-Ready Turkey Really Worth It? [YumSugar.com]