Turkey is one of the most sought-after delicacies on any menu, especially for special occasions. If you are bored of the conventional ways of cooking this delightful meat, then read the following article as it gives ample information on how to cook turkey in a convection oven.
Turkey meat is a popular poultry product used for everyday nourishment, and is an integral part of culturally important events. In the United States and Canada, turkeys are traditionally had as the main course of Thanksgiving. Stuffed turkey is a popular delicacy during Christmas in the rest of the world. They are usually roasted or baked in an oven, and one can choose to cook either a fresh or a frozen turkey. This meat is known to be extremely proteinaceous when compared to other meats.
Benefits of a Convection Oven
- It cuts the preparation time by as much as 1/3rd, as it uses a fan positioned at the back. This fan periodically recirculates the heated air around the item being cooked, thereby, speeding up the cooking process.
- It also cooks food at a lower temperature which improves the energy efficiency.
- Also, the convection process aids in enhancing the taste and flavor.
- First and foremost, you must decide on the size of the bird which will depend on the number of people feasting. Ideally, one pound per head should be more than enough. So, a single bird in the range of 12 – 15 pounds should be the ideal size.
- Thawing is the next vital step for a sound result. This takes around 3 – 4 hours per pound which is around 2 days for a 15-pound bird.
- Next, you need to thoroughly clean the thawed turkey along with discarding the neck, giblet, and liver. You can choose not to discard these parts by incorporating them in the gravy.
- Preheat the convection oven on ‘roast’ mode at 350°F for 10 minutes before you place the meat inside it.
- Season the turkey inside out with salt and pepper, and massage some olive oil into the skin. To prevent quick browning, cover the legs and wings of the bird with a foil.
- Next, lay it on a heavy roasting pan followed by placing it in the oven rack. Hold the bird’s legs together by tying a thread around it. You can choose to roast the turkey either breast side-up or breast side-down.
- In case of the filling, it is advised to prepare it separately instead of stuffing it while roasting. By doing this, one can save a lot of time. This also ensures that the stuffing gets cooked completely, as the large size of the bird’s body can hamper heat penetration.
- One can expect great results if the meat is roasted at around 150°F initially, gradually increasing up to 350°F for a brief period, and then maintaining it at 250°F. Continue roasting at 250°F till the meat is appropriately cooked and turns golden brown in color.
- Next, remove the turkey from the oven and fill its abdominal cavity with the stuffing. Meanwhile, ensure that the oven stays heated. Now, place this stuffed meat in the oven, set at around 200°F, for a brief period till the juices get uniformly mixed.
- Next, remove the turkey from the oven, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. This will facilitate the redistribution of juices throughout the meat, making it soft, tender, and juicy.
- Your turkey is now ready to go under the knife, transferred onto the platters, and ready to be served.
The table below gives essential information on variable cooking time depending on the oven temperature and the weight of the bird.
|Cooking Time (hours)
|8 – 12 pounds
|3 – 4 hours
|12 – 16 pounds
|250 – 325°F
|4 – 5 hours
|16 – 20 pounds
|250 – 325°F
|5 – 6 hours
|20 – 24 pounds
|250 – 325°F
|6 – 7 hours
Now, if you have followed the above steps properly, you’re bound to cut into the most delicious, juiciest turkey you’ve ever had!