If you’ve got a convection oven, Thanksgiving is a great day to use it. The even heating that a convection oven provides is great for your turkey and baking. Here are some turkey roasting tips straight from the experts at eatturkey.com.
A whole turkey or turkey breast will cook in less time with more even results when a convection oven is used. The convection oven circulates preheated air around the oven cavity for faster and more even cooking. Depending on the manufacturer, it is recommended the traditional roasting times be reduced by 10 to 40 percent. Usually both roasting temperature and time are reduced when using a convection oven. In such cases, the convection oven cooking temperature is lower to 300 degrees F.
The formula for conversion is different for each convection oven. Some manufacturers provide the conversion formulas on the front control panel of the oven.
The newest convection ovens feature an electronic thermometer probe that assists in more accurate roasting. The temperature probe should be set to the desired internal food temperature of 180 degrees F and inserted in the inner thigh. The electronic thermometer probe monitors the internal temperature and will alert the chef when the desired temperature is reached.
With or without the automatic thermometer, it is important to use a thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F in the thigh and 170 degrees F in the breast. If the turkey is stuffed, verify the stuffing temperature registers 165 degrees F.
|NTF Convection Oven Open Pan Method Guidelines for a Fresh/Thawed Turkey Roast on the Lowest Rack Position|
|Cooking Method||Cooking Temperature||Weight Unstuffed||Estimated Cooking Time||Weight Stuffed||Estimated Cooking Time|
|Roast||300 degrees F.||14 – 18 lbs.||2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hrs.||14 – 18 lbs.||2 1/2 to 3 hrs.|
|Roast||300 degrees F.||18 – 22 lbs.||2 1/2 to 3 hrs.||18 – 22 lbs.||3 hrs. to 3 1/2 hrs.|
1. The preferred method is to roast the turkey in the center of the lowest rack or oven shelf so the top of the turkey will be centered in the oven. If two racks must be used, place the turkey on the lowest or middle rack. When baking with two pans, position the pans in opposite corners of the oven. Place the pans so one is not directly over the other.
2. Basting is not necessary when using the convention mode of roasting. If a special sauce or marinade is used, baste the turkey during the last hour of cooking.
3. The hot air must circulate around the turkey for even heat distribution. For best results, allow 1-1/2 to 2 inches of space around the turkey, including other pans as well as the oven walls.
4. If the oven door is opened frequently, there will be heat loss and cause longer roasting times.
5. The wings and drumsticks may brown more quickly and should be covered with foil to prevent over browning.
6. If the turkey is lightly tented with foil to reduce surface browning, be sure the foil is secured so it will not blow around and impair the fan action.
7. If the turkey is to be cooked in a closed oven bag or completely encased in foil, convection roasting is not necessary.
Remember these safety tips from the USDA:
Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.
Storing Your Leftovers :
- Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
- Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
- Use refrigerated turkey and stuffing within 3 to 4 days. Use gravy within 1 to 2 days.
- If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.
Reheating Your TurkeyCooked turkey may be eaten cold or reheated.
In the Oven
- Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.
- Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.
In the Microwave Oven
- Cover your food and rotate it for even heating. Allow standing time.
- Check the internal temperature of your food with a food thermometer to make sure it reaches 165 °F.
- Consult your microwave oven owner’s manual for recommended times and power levels.