How to Cook the Perfect Turkey Crown may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

A turkey crown is just the breast meat -- no legs -- on the bone, which reduces the cooking time, makes it easier to carve and creates less waste. Unfortunately the breast meat has a reputation for being dry but as Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa says, "don't follow outdated guidelines for cooking meats or they will be overcooked." To have a perfect moist crown use an instant-probe thermometer to check the temperature of the inside of the meat and remember that your turkey crown will keep cooking while it rests.

Step 1

Preheated your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Unwrap your turkey crown and pat dry with kitchen towel then, starting at the neck end and using your fingers, gently lift the skin away from the flesh to create a large cavity. Fill this cavity with the softened butter, smooth back the skin and secure in place using the metal skewers. You may also choose to rub underneath the skin, and the top of the skin, with olive oil or another cooking oil of your choice.

Step 3

Place the crown in the large roasting pan, skin uppermost, then place it on the center shelf of the preheated oven.

Step 4

Roast for approximately 1 ½ hours for a 5-pound crown, 2 hours for a 10-pound crown and 2 ¾ hours for a 15-pound crown. Each half hour baste your turkey crown. Using the oven gloves, open the oven door, slide the roasting pan carefully towards you and tilt so that the juices run down to the corner. Then, using the large spoon, tip these juices over the turkey crown, return to the oven and close the door. If you are cooking a large crown you may need to remove the pan completely from the oven.

Step 5

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place on the side. Insert the instant thermometer into the meat from the side not the top. Keep the turkey crown out of the oven when its internal temperature is 150 degrees. If the temperature is too low, place the crown back in oven, cook for another 15 minutes, then check the temperature again. Repeat as necessary until it reaches 150 Fahrenheit.

Step 6

Cover the turkey crown loosely with the aluminum foil to rest. Resting is essential as, according to the esteemed French chef Raymond Blanc, during cooking the juices are pushed towards the center of the joint and resting allows the muscles of the meat to relax so that the juices redistribute making the meat tender. Rest your turkey crown in the roasting pan for at least 30 minutes.

Step 7

Remove the aluminum foil, lift the turkey crown, allow it to drain and then place onto the warmed serving platter and serve.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 stick butter, per 5 pound turkey crown, softened

  • Olive oil (optional)

  • 2 metal skewers

  • Large thick roasting pan

  • Oven gloves

  • Large spoon

  • Instant-probe thermometer

  • Aluminum foil

  • Large serving platter, warmed


Take your turkey out of the refrigerator the night before so that it is at room temperature when you start cooking.

Take your butcher's advice on the tastiest breed of turkey available in your neighborhood.

Use the juices that collect in the bottom of the roasting pan to make a tasty gravy.


The hot fat may spit when you are moving the turkey crown, keep your arms covered and your face well back.

Only use fresh turkey or freshly defrosted turkey. Discard your joint if it has discolored or developed a bad smell.

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