1 hour before roasting: Place turkey breast-side up on a raised rack inside a roasting pan (see note). Pat dry with paper towels.
Combine salt and black pepper.
Gently loosen the skin from the breast and legs of the turkey to create some space for the seasoning and butter. (Note: I like to use a spoon to help gently separate the skin.)
Rub butter and then salt-pepper mixture evenly over the turkey, including inside the cavity and under and on top of the skin, concentrating more salt where the meat is thickest (like the breast).
Place lemon halves inside the cavity.
Leave turkey out to allow it to come to room temperature.
If you’d like to, you can tie / truss the legs of the turkey together. (I sometimes skip this to save a step.)
Add water to the bottom of the roasting pan. If you’d like to add vegetables or herbs to help flavor the pan drippings, add those to the water.
Arrange oven rack so that one rack is in the lower third of the oven.
Preheat oven to 425°F / 218°C.
Transfer the turkey to the lower rack in the oven and roast for 90 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. Start checking the turkey on the lower end of the cook time and continue checking until the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F / 71°C and the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F / 73°C.) If the breast is cooking much faster than the thigh (or if the skin on the breast gets more brown than you’d like it to be, lightly cover that part of the turkey with a piece of foil.)
Once turkey is done transfer it to a cutting board and let rest for 30 to 45 minutes (you can tent it with foil to keep it warm).
Slice and serve.