The average turkey breast weighs between 4 and 8 pounds, so a single roast turkey breast can produce many helpings and leftovers. Most turkey breasts should be cooked at a temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius). However, your exact cooking time will vary based on size.
Read more: 15 of the Best Lean Animal Proteins
Temperatures for Convection Roast Turkey
Convection oven turkey breast can easily form a crispy outer skin that keeps the entire piece of meat tender and juicy. This is important, because turkey breast is a low-fat meat. While the American Heart Association recommends the consumption of poultry and other lean meats, you need to be careful when cooking — they can dry out easily.
In a convection oven, roast turkey breast should be cooked at a minimum temperature of 325 F (163 C), in accordance with USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommendations. This temperature is recommended for food safety reasons and is very important, given the average size of turkey breasts.
If a large piece of meat like this stays at low temperatures for too long, it can become unsafe to eat due to food-borne bacteria and other forms of contamination. Preheat your convection oven to 325 F; this allows your roast turkey breast to reach a high internal temperature quickly.
Preparing Roast Turkey Breast
Before you put your turkey breast into the oven, there are a few things you need to do to prepare it. It's important to take these steps beforehand to minimize the amount of time your turkey sits uncooked at room temperature.
- Have a spice mix ready. Spices like garlic, pepper, mustard, cumin, coriander and paprika can all enhance the flavor of this meat. It's best to mix these spices in advance, because you'll want them to be evenly distributed on your roast turkey breast.
- If your turkey breast still has skin on, you'll also need a fat to help the turkey skin crisp up in the oven. You can use any type of fat, from a plant-based oil like avocado oil to butter. Mix part of your spice mix with this fat so that you can evenly coat the exterior of the turkey breast.
Cooking Convection Oven Turkey Breast
When it comes to turkey breasts, size definitely matters. This is because your exact cooking time depends on the size of the turkey breast.
It typically takes between 1 1/5 to 3 1/5 hours for a turkey breast to roast at 325 F in a convection oven. Your convection oven turkey breast is safe to consume when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C).
If you've decided to stuff your breast, your cook time will take a bit longer. Stuffed convection roast turkey breasts need 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours of cooking time. Given the amount of variability in time and the importance of cooking your turkey all the way through, it's always safest to use a cooking thermometer when cooking large pieces of meat, especially convection oven turkey breast.
According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, a USDA website, most adults consume around 5 to 6.5 ounces of protein each day. This means that once roasted, a whole turkey breast will produce quite a bit of food.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Let's Talk Turkey—A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey"
- American Heart Association: "Meat, Poultry, and Fish: Picking Healthy Proteins"
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: "What Foods Are in the Protein Foods Group?"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Turkey Basics: Safe Cooking"
- Jessica Gavin: Culinary Scientist: "Roast Turkey Breast"
- American Heart Association: "Common Herbs and Spices: How to Use Them Deliciously"
- Norbest: Cooking Perfect Turkey