If you set out to cook a 9-pound turkey breast, you'll need to pay special attention to ensure the meat comes out tender and juicy and doesn't take too long to prepare.
When working with larger turkey breasts, you'll need at least three hours of roasting time. Other factors will influence your turkey breast cooking time, like if it's frozen (and has been thawed) and if it's stuffed.
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Turkey breast is lean meat, and the Mayo Clinic considers lean meats and poultry like turkey breast to be among the most nutritious types of animal protein.
But because it's lean, turkey breast meat is also prone to drying out easily. The way you cook turkey breast will affect the final result.
How to Roast a 9-Pound Turkey Breast
Turkey should be cooked at a minimum temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA.
Although you can roast your turkey at higher temperatures, it's usually best not to because it's so low in fat. Cover turkey breast while you cook it in the oven. This allows it to retain the most moisture and helps increase heat circulation.
If you're wondering how long to cook a turkey breast in the oven, the time will depend on the size you're working with, whether or not it's stuffed and if you thawed it out beforehand.
The average weight of a turkey breast is around 4 to 8 pounds. Unstuffed, these turkey breasts take between one and a half and three and a half hours to cook. Stuffed, they're likely to need at least two and a half to three and a half hours in the oven.
The cooking time for a 9-pound stuffed turkey breast can be up to four hours. If you're cooking turkey breast that's frozen, this will prolong your cooking time by up to 50 percent.
Smaller frozen turkey breasts could take as much as two and a half hours to cook, while roasting a 9-pound turkey breast from frozen could take as much as six hours.
It will take less time to cook a pre-cooked oven-roasted turkey breast than if you're working with raw turkey meat.
For pre-cooked turkey breast, follow the preparation instructions on the packaging.
You'll know your 9-pound turkey breast is done cooking when the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 F, per the USDA. Use a meat thermometer to check by sticking it into the thickest part of the turkey breast.
How to Thaw Frozen Turkey Breast
While you technically can cook a frozen turkey breast without thawing, you'll want to thaw frozen turkey breast before cooking to lower your cooking time and enhance the quality of the finished product. The time needed will depend on which thawing method you use, but the USDA recommends the refrigerator thaw method.
How Long to Thaw Frozen Turkey Breast
- Refrigerator thaw method (recommended): 24 hours for every five pounds
- Cold-water bath method: 30 minutes per pound.
- Microwave method: follow instructions in the owner’s manual.
Tips for Cooking Turkey Breast in the Oven
Follow the tips below to cook a delicious turkey breast that's tender and juicy.
Most traditional turkey breast recipes require turkey broth or, in a pinch, chicken broth. This broth is usually used when you roast the turkey. It keeps it from dehydrating over its long cooking time.
Once your turkey is done cooking, use the leftover broth mixed with other ingredients to make your own gravy and add flavor to stuffings and other Thanksgiving side dishes.
Using Turkey Breast Leftovers
Given the amount of meat that comes from roasting a 9-pound turkey breast, you're likely to end up with lots of turkey leftovers. Fortunately, roast turkey leftovers are one of the best parts of cooking a turkey.
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