Turkey Cooking Times (Convection Oven and other Methods)

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Determining turkey cooking times in a convection oven can be so confusing sometimes because there are so many factors to consider. If you’re wondering how long to cook a turkey, make sure you grab the free printable cheat sheet below.

A convection oven has a fan that allows heat to circulate around the turkey while it’s cooking and ventilates regularly to prevent humidity. A regular oven has a single heating unit, meaning the heat is inconsistent and only heats in one way.

Turkey cooking times cheat sheet printable on a tan background.


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Turkey in a convection oven is such a wonderful way to roast turkey. Cooking in convection ovens is one of our favorite styles of cooking. But if you do not have a convectional oven, no worries we will talk about other methods to cook turkey.

Also, always, use a meat thermometer to determine when the turkey is done. The internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone should be 165 degrees.

Check out Butterball for the latest recipes and ideas. For decades, they have been the definitive place to find out information on the best way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. Moreover, you can call their hotline to get all their questions and concerns answered. You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving, you can reach out really any time of year.

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If you’re looking for recipes for Whole Turkey, Turkey Breasts etc., try these Roasted Bone In Turkey Breast, Slow Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter and  27 Thanksgiving Sides For Turkey.

A platter of the dish.

How to Cook a Turkey in a Convection Oven

Depending on the size of your turkey, follow the guide below for convection cooking. If your turkey is stuffed, also verify the temperature of the stuffing has reached 165°F. Here are some hints for roasting a turkey.

  1. Start by thawing your frozen turkey. When you have fully thawed turkey, you can begin cooking. See USDA’s tips on safely thawing your turkey. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and on top of the turkey add oil, butter and herbs. Cook the turkey at 350 degrees.
  2. No need to baste the turkey when using a convection oven. The skin of the breast becomes crispy while the meat stays juicy.
  3. Convection cooking takes less time, therefore here is a guide on how long to cook your turkey:
Turkey/Turkey Breast WeightHours of Cook Time
12-15 Pound Turkey1 1/2 to 2 hours
15-20 Pound Turkey2 to 2 1/2 hours
20-25 Pound Turkey2 1/2 to 3 hours
Turkey cooking times in convection oven cheat sheet on a pink background.

As most ovens vary, it is always important to use a meat thermometer to check the bird’s temperature. And remember that there is carryover cooking, meaning that the turkey will continue to cook after you remove it for the oven. Always allow turkey at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Conventional Oven for Traditional Roast Turkey

  1. First, reheat oven to 325° F. Drain juices and pat dry with clean paper towels.
  2. Then place turkey breast-side-up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2½ inches deep.
  3. Turn the wings back to hold the neck skin in place. (Tucking the wings will help stabilize the turkey in the pan and when carving) Next, brush or spray skin lightly with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance.
  4. When the turkey is about ⅔ done, loosely cover the breast with a piece of foil to prevent overcooking. Make sure the internal temperature is reached and then remove from the oven.
  5. Lift turkey onto platter, and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Turkey/Turkey Breast WeightHours of Cook Time
12-14 Pound Turkey3 to 3 hours and 45 minutes
14-18 Pound Turkey3 hours 45 minutes to 4 hours 15 minutes
18-20 Pound Turkey4 hours 15 minutes–4 hours 30 minutes
20-24 Pound Turkey4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours
Air Fryer Turkey Breast sliced on a plate.

Air Frying a Whole Turkey or Turkey Breast

If you are feeding a smaller family or just want to have extra white meat at your Thanksgiving gathering, than you should consider air frying a turkey breast. Like convection cooking, but only in a smaller scale, this methods is great for locking in the juices of the bird.

Turkey roasting with or without stuffing require different cook times. Also cooking turkey in a bag will have different cook times.

  1. Completely thaw your whole turkey breast.
  2. Preheat your air fryer to 360° F.
  3. Pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Prepare breast with seasonings and coat with cooking spray or herb butter.
  5. Place breast in air fryer basket, skin side up.
  6. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
How long to cook a turkey at 350 cheat sheet on an ipad.
Turkey/Turkey Breast WeightHours of Cook Time
3-4 Pound Turkey bone in50 Minutes – Flip once
3-4 Pound Boneless Turkey Breast1 hour -Flip several times
4 + Pound Turkey Breast15 minutes per pound

How to Cook Turkey in the Convection Oven

When you convection roast a turkey, there are a few steps to follow to ensure perfection.

Step 1: Prep

First, preheat your oven, then combine all the ingredients for the herb butter and then clean your turkey thoroughly. Season the cavity of the turkey.

Step 2: Stuffing

Next, if you like, you can put stuffing inside the turkey or fill the cavity with aromatics and herbs, such as onions and citrus. Then apply the herb butter to all sides of the bird. Next, place onions, carrots and celery beside the bird and put the turkey on the rack (roasting rack).

Step 3: Add Liquid, Cover and Cook

Next, add stock and wine. Then place bird on top of veggies and stock. Cover loosely with foil. Place the turkey on the lowest rack or oven shelf. This allows the the convection heat to move around the turkey as much as possible. Ensure the turkey will be centered in the oven. Roast at 350 degrees until internal temperature (between the leg and breast) reaches 165 degrees.

Step 4: Brown and Rest

Remove foil from the turkey during the last 30 minutes of roasting if turkey needs to brown more. Finally, when the turkey comes out of the oven, cover it with foil (to keep your turkey warm) and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise. This is called carryover cooking.

Turkey Cooking Times (Convection Oven and other Methods)FAQs

Yes, it is. Convection cooking involves circulating convection heat around the oven. When you convection bake a turkey, it will cook faster because the blowing heat moves around the entire bird. There are some tricks and tips for cooking with convection ovens. This recipe produces a wonder bird and is an excellent method.

You should plan on serving a pound of turkey per person. Always, plan in a little extra for great leftover recipes or unexpected guests.

Of course, no matter how you cook a turkey, you need to impart flavor, try some of these delicious suggestions.

A turkey meal.

Expert Tips for Cooking Turkey

Whether you are using convection cooking for your turkey or you are using another method, there are some tried and true key points to remember when making an oven roasted turkey:

  • Tip 1: Before you roast your turkey, always remember to remove the giblet package.
  • Tip 2: Thaw your turkey properly. The National Turkey Federation recommends thawing turkey in the refrigerator.
  • Tip 3: Always preheat the oven before roasting. Turkey will take several hours to cook properly. For specific cooking times, refer to your recipe.
  • Tip 4: Remove the turkey from the oven and let the turkey sit at least 20 minutes before carving. This makes the turkey moist and juicy. Cover the turkey with foil to keep it warm while resting.
  • Tip 5: Check the internal temperature in several places to ensure the entire turkey is cooked through.
  • Tip 6: When it comes to cooking turkey with stuffing, make sure to temp the center of the stuffing too.

More Turkey Resources

Want even more turkey recipes, try: Crock Pot Turkey Soup. If you want to learn more about turkey, check out Butterball Home, they explain it all. Try 27 Thanksgiving Sides For Turkey for the best suggestions for side dishes.

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