Directions for Cooking a Turkey Breast in a Convection Oven

A turkey breast cooked in a convection oven develops a crisp skin that helps seal in juices, so the meat stays moist as it roasts to perfect tenderness. Convection cooking speeds up the roasting process by circulating heated oven air around the food with a simple fan in the back of the oven. The moving air eliminates hot spots and cooks the food evenly. You'll achieve the best browning if the turkey is on a meat rack in the roasting pan so the sides of the meat receive the circulating air. It's also a good idea to position the oven rack so the top of the breast is near the center of the oven. This placement allows more air flow over the turkey rather than under the pan.

Cooked turkey breast on a plate. (Image: gbh007/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Spray the roasting pan and meat rack with cooking spray. If the turkey breast is whole with the bone in, mix together olive oil or softened butter with salt and pepper and your choice of herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, thyme or sage. Lift the turkey skin and rub the herbed oil or butter over the meat, then replace the skin.

Step 2

Untie the string netting on a boneless rolled turkey breast to fill it with your favorite traditional stuffing or with a pesto filling, if desired, then re-roll the meat and tie it with new butcher's twine.

Step 3

Place the seasoned or filled turkey on the meat rack with the skin side up. If your oven is equipped with a temperature probe, insert it into the thickest part of the turkey.

Step 4

Roast the turkey at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature is 165 F on the probe or on an instant-read thermometer. A 3-pound breast requires about 90 minutes.

Step 5

Remove the turkey from the oven and cover it with an aluminum foil tent. Allow it to rest 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Things You'll Need

  • Roasting pan

  • Cooking spray

  • Meat rack

  • Herbed butter or herbed olive oil (optional)

  • Butcher’s twine (optional)

  • Instant-read meat thermometer or oven probe

  • Aluminum foil

Tip

If you use stuffing mix, prepare it according to package directions before you roll it in the boneless breast.

To make a fresh spinach pesto filling, place fresh basil and spinach leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, walnuts and minced garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse until everything is processed into a paste. Pour olive oil into the mixture slowly with the blender on low until the mixture has the consistency of butter. Spread the pesto on the meat, reroll the boneless meat so the filling spirals inside the roll, and tie the roll with new butcher’s twine.

Make short-cut spinach pesto by mincing fresh spinach in the blender, then adding a jar of prepared pesto. Drizzle in a small amount of oil while pulsing until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

If the skin doesn’t stay in place after you season or fill the meat, use wooden toothpicks to secure the edges of the skin to the meat. Remember to remove the toothpicks before serving.

Warning

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking poultry to an internal temperature of 165 F.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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