This perfectly cooked convection oven turkey comes out with slightly crispy skin as well as moist and tender meat. Not only does the turkey cook in less time than in the convection oven compared to a regular oven, there is also no need to baste the bird over and over again. The hot dry air of the convection oven sears the turkey on the outside and therefore locks in all the juices. You will be surprised how easy it is to make the perfect turkey. Trust us, this is the best convection oven turkey recipe!
How To Defrost A Turkey
There are three safe ways to defrost a frozen turkey. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the size of the bird.
How to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator. Keep the turkey in its original packaging. Place the turkey breast side up in a container or pan to catch any drips. It will take a full 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. A 20 pound turkey will take 4 days to thaw. Once it is defrosted you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 more days.
How to defrost a turkey in cold water. Keep the turkey in it’s original packaging. Place it in a larger plastic bag that is leak proof. Try to get all the air out of the bag and seal. Place the bag breast side down in a sink or container large enough for the turkey to be completely under water. Fill your container with cold water. Change the cold water every 30 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes for every pound of turkey. A 20 pound turkey will take 10 hours this way. You might need to place something heavy on the turkey to keep it under water. Cook immediately after thawing.
How to defrost a turkey in the microwave. Firstly, remove the plastic packaging from the turkey. Additionally, remove any metal tags or clips. Place the turkey breast side up in a microwave safe container to catch drips. Every microwave is different so read the manual for your microwave. It should take an hour to an hour and a half to defrost in a microwave but it depends on the microwave. Clean your microwave well when it is thawed. Cook immediately after thawing.
WHAT TO MAKE NEXT: If you want your turkey bursting with flavor, you have to try our Turkey Injection Recipe. It creates the juiciest meat and adds immense flavor to your bird.
This section shows how to cook a whole turkey in the convection oven, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full step-by-step instructions, photos and nutritional information see the recipe in the recipe card below. You can print the recipe with or without photos.
SEASON AND ROAST: Rub the turkey with butter and season with salt and pepper. (You can substitute olive oil for the butter.) Be sure to rub the seasoning inside the body cavity as well.
Then adjust the oven rack so the turkey will sit in the middle of the oven. Cook turkey until the thickest parts of the breast are 165°F and the thighs are at least 170°F.
REST AND SERVE: Finally, allow the turkey to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving. Serve.
WHAT TO MAKE NEXT: Follow our amazing Dry Brine Turkey Recipe for an easy way to add more flavor to your turkey. This delicious blend of salt, pepper and herbs enhances flavor and creates the most juicy meat.
Cooking Turkey in the Convection Oven vs. Regular Oven
A convection oven works very similar to an air fryer. A fan circulates dry, hot air around the food and therefore cooks more evenly and quicker (25-30% faster) than a conventional oven. Additionally, a convection oven cooks the turkey at a lower temperature (325ºF) than a regular oven (350ºF). By circulating hot air around a whole turkey, it “sears” the outside shut and therefore locks in all the juices. For that reason, there is no need to keep basting a convection oven turkey. Besides circulating hot air, a convection oven also has an exhaust vent to eliminate moisture from the oven. This keeps the skin crisp. While a regular oven often creates hot spots (areas that are hotter than others within the oven) a convection oven circulates heat evenly – how wonderful to have your dark meat and white meat cook to moist perfection.. This makes it also possible to cook more than one dish at the same time.
Cooking Turkey in a Crockpot
It is also possible to cook a turkey in the slow cooker. Simply rinse, dry and season the fresh turkey. Then cook for 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high until the internal temperature is at least 165ºF in the breast and 170ºF in the thigh. Broil for 10 minutes to crisp up the skin and serve. For detailed instructions take a look at our Crockpot Thanksgiving Turkey recipe.
Thanksgiving Menu Suggestions:
If you are still working on your Thanksgiving menu for this year, take a look at all these yummy recipes from our website. They are all tried and tested as well as easy to make and absolutely delicious!
- Convection Oven Turkey
- Crockpot Thanksgiving Turkey
- Dry Brine Turkey Recipe
- Turkey Injection Recipe
If you are hosting only a few people this holiday, try our Convection Oven Roast Chicken, instead of a turkey. It is juicy, tender, and delicious.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Carrots with Balsamic Glaze
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
- Thanksgiving Fruit Salad
- Cornbread Muffins
- Spiked Apple Cider
- Thanksgiving Sangria
- Candy Corn Jello Shots
- Pumpkin Bar Recipe
- Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
- Granny Smith Apple Pie
- Apple Crisp Without Oats
- Apple Pie Bars
- Candy Corn Sugar Cookies
How To Store
Refrigerate: To begin with, it is important to make sure your cooked turkey is completely cold before putting in the refrigerator. Transfer any leftover meat to an airtight container or ziploc bag and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Turkey leftovers are great eaten cold or cooked into a new recipe.
Freeze: Leftover turkey meat can be frozen in a freezer safe container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Defrosting: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave, air fryer, oven or stovetop.