Everybody knows that a high-quality oven is essential for roasting a delicious turkey. But when it comes to cooking a turkey, there’s always a debate between using a convection oven and a regular oven. Which method offers clear advantages? By the end of this post, you’ll understand the difference between the two ovens and what it means for roasting the perfect turkey.
The Battle: Convection Oven vs Conventional Oven
Convection ovens have internal fans that actively circulate hot air, resulting in faster and more even cooking compared to standard ovens. The circulation of hot air in a convection oven helps prevent hot spots, ensuring that your entire meal is cooked to perfection. So if you’re looking for efficiency and evenly cooked dishes, a convection oven is the way to go.
Tips For Cooking Turkey In a Convection Oven
Since convection ovens cook turkeys faster, you should set the temperature lower than you would in a regular oven. A temperature of 300-325°F is perfect for a delicious turkey with a moist exterior and an ideal interior temperature of 165°F. On the other hand, regular ovens are typically set at 350°F when cooking a whole turkey.
The average cook time for turkeys in either type of oven is around 3-4 hours, but this doesn’t account for the time it takes to thaw or prepare the turkey. Regardless of the oven you use, the taste of the turkey won’t be significantly affected.
If you’re tired of the traditional cooking method and want to try something different, you might consider deep frying your turkey.
Temperature Setting to Cook Turkey
To properly cook the turkey, place it in the center of the lowest rack or oven shelf at a temperature of 350°F. If you have to use two racks, position the turkey on the lowest or middle rack. When using two roasting pans, place them in opposite corners of the oven to ensure even cooking.
How Long Should You Cook a Turkey in a Convection Oven?
If you’re using a large turkey, follow the chart below for convection cooking or cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding contact with the bone.
- 12-15 pounds: 1.5-2 hours
- 15-20 pounds: 2-2.5 hours
- 20-25 pounds: 2.5-3 hours
Other signs that the turkey is cooked through include loose legs and clear juices. Check the internal temperature in several spots, such as the thickest part of the breasts, thighs, and wings, to be sure.
Depending on the brand, you may be able to reduce the baking time for turkeys by up to 40 percent.
Here are some additional tips to help you roast the perfect turkey in a convection oven:
- Start with a fully defrosted turkey. If you’re unsure how to thaw your turkey safely, refer to the USDA’s guidelines.
- Basting is not necessary when using a convection oven. The blowing hot air quickly seals in the turkey’s natural flavors. However, if you prefer to baste, do it during the last half hour of cooking to ensure even cooking.
- Avoid wrapping the turkey in aluminum foil as it prevents the meat from searing and getting a nice golden brown color. If the legs or wing tips start to darken too much, you can cover them with aluminum foil.
For more roasting tips and tricks, visit the Ekilove website.
- Fresh or frozen turkey
- ½ cup oil of your choice (olive or vegetable)
- Any other desired herbs
Steps on How to Cook Traditional Roast Turkey
To cook a traditional roast turkey in a convection oven, follow these steps:
- Set the oven rack to the bottom position to create enough space for your turkey.
- Preheat your convection oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If your turkey includes the neck and giblets, you can save them for another use if desired.
- Use a low-sided sheet pan with a rack. If you’re cooking a large turkey, opt for a high-sided roasting dish to lift the bird and allow hot, dry air to circulate around it. Place the turkey on the rack inside the roasting pan.
- Avoid trussing or binding the turkey, as this allows the hot air from the convection oven to reach every part of the bird.
- Fold the wings underneath the turkey and loosen the skin around the edges of the breasts.
- In a small bowl, mix together olive or vegetable oils and spread them all over the turkey, including underneath the skin of the breast meat.
- Generously sprinkle rosemary and thyme over the turkey.
- Use a long wooden skewer to hold the legs together and balance the turkey on the rack.
- After handling raw meat, remember to wash your hands and clean any surfaces you touched.
- Put the turkey in the preheated convection oven and cook for the recommended time or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on the turkey during cooking. If the wings and feet start to darken too much, cover them with aluminum foil.
- After removing the turkey from the oven and covering it with foil, let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving and serving. The turkey will continue to cook due to carry-over cooking, resulting in juicier meat.
To explore more cooking tips and recipes, visit Ekilove.
Remember, whether you choose a convection oven or a regular oven, the most important thing is to enjoy the process of cooking and sharing a delicious turkey with your loved ones. Happy roasting!