Tips for Roasting a Turkey in your Convection Oven
Using the Convection Roast or Convection Bake mode in your oven makes roasting a turkey easy and, because foods cooked in Convection retain a lot of moisture, the turkey will be incredibly succulent and juicy. Other benefits of roasting a turkey in Convection include:
No turning or basting is necessary.
Because the turkey is roasted on a rack all the juices stay in the bird, poaching the meat to perfection. After resting the juices are drained out of the turkey for gravy making.
Roasting time will be much shorter, use the oven Temperature Probe to avoid overcooking the turkey or follow the estimated timing listed below.
Once the turkey is resting, all the oven side dishes can be cooked at the same time so that all the food will be ready to serve when the turkey has rested and been carved
Seasoning the Turkey
Remove the turkey from the wrapping a few days in advance and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the neck and giblet packets from the turkey cavities and dry the turkey inside and out with paper towels.
Give the turkey a dry rub of kosher salt mixed with your preferred seasoning, a few days in advance and leave in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
When cooking in Convection a wet brine is not necessary as the circulating Convection heat does not have a drying effect during the roasting process.
Aromatics such as onion, lemon bay leaves or other seasoning can be placed in the cavity prior to cooking for added flavor.
Cooking the Turkey
Let the turkey sit in a cool place outside of the refrigerator for a few hours prior to cooking. If it is too cold it will cook unevenly.
Preheat the oven in the Convection Roast or Convection Bake to 400 degrees.
Set the seasoned turkey on a rack in a shallow pan and place a metal skewer between the legs to balance the turkey or tie the legs loosely together. It’s important to know that your turkey will cook faster in Convection and tying the legs too close to the body keeps that part very cold and therefore it may cook unevenly.
Placing the turkey on a rack ensures all the juices stay in the turkey during the cooking and allows the heat to circulate evenly around the bird. There will be some drippings but for more drippings you can add some vegetables to the base of the pan and add a cup or two of water once the pan is in the oven.
Give the turkey a light spritz with some spray oil or rub with some vegetable oil and if your oven has a Meat Probe insert it into the thickest part of the breast, horizontally, making sure not to touch any bone.
Slide the tray into the oven and insert the temperature probe into the oven receptacle. For food safety the internal temperature must reach 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and thigh. While the turkey is resting the internal temperature will continue to rise and reach the perfect carving temperature of 180 - 185 degrees in 20 - 30 minutes.
Set the timer and cook the turkey for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time. The oven will turn off when the internal temperature of 165 degrees has been reached. If your oven does not have a meat probe, use the following chart as a guide.
Estimated Cooking Times
For small turkeys up to 15lbs allow - 1 ½ - 2 hours cooking time.
For turkeys up to 20lbs allow - 2 - 2 ½ hours cooking time.
For turkeys over 20lbs allow 3 - 3 ½ hours cooking time.
Resting, Carving and Gravy Making
When the turkey comes out of the oven set it aside to rest for 30 minutes, then carefully pick it up with 2 kitchen towels and drain the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan and set the turkey aside on a rimmed carving board.
When carving the turkey you may notice the area around the bones will be red. Please do not be alarmed, this is a characteristic of Convection cooking. As long as the meat is cooked you are perfectly safe.
Discard any vegetables you added to the roasting pan, combine all the pan juices and skim off the fat, you are now ready to make your gravy and begin carving the turkey.
To make sure you have enough stock to make gravy we recommend preparing a giblet stock to mix with the pan juices and juices that will come out of the turkey after resting. Additional stock can also be made in advance with turkey legs or wings.
Most 30” and 36” ovens can accommodate two large casserole pans side-by-side as well as extra large rimmed baking sheets. Make good use of all that space to cook as many oven side dishes as you can while the turkey is resting and being carved (approx 50 minutes).
Using Convection will help you cook an amazing turkey and having all the side dishes ready and hot to serve at the same time really takes the stress out of preparing a huge feast. I wish you every success.