Cooking a turkey in convection oven

patches123November 9, 2007

I will be cooking the Thanksgiving turkey in a convection oven for the first time (specifically the Bosch Integra).

How will the cooking time differ on such a large item? It will likely be approx. 12 pounds. I am a bit worried about using the convection feature. I did a google search and came up with a few articles such as this one. For those of you who have used convection with turkeys I would love to hear your experience and any tips.

We do have a Whole Foods near us so I can get the bird that was recomended in the article below. I usually do not brine, but could if it will help. The Bosch Integra does have the convection roast function.

Advice, tips, etc?

Here is a link that might be useful: article

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No tips, but my advice would be to go over to the cooking forum and ask.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 12:49PM
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Actually, most of us on the cooking forum use a high-heat method for turkey roasting and you DO NOT (emphatic) want to use a convection function or any other setting that blows the hot air around while using high heat.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 12:54PM
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Really fairegold, even if you have convection roast? So I would be better off using the regular old oven setting?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 1:31PM
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I always cook my turkey with convection at a moderate heat (350) and it comes out fantastic with convection. The inside comes out really juicy and the skin is brown and crispy. The breast and legs get done equally well without any special treatment. I think it probably takes a little less time with convection but I check with a thermometer for doneness.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 1:37PM
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No matter how you cook it, and contrary to the article quoted above, I was taught you should let the turkey sit out at room temperature for an hour or two. Refrigerated birds do not cook as evenly as room temperature ones.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 4:11PM
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Yes, high heat roasting is wonderful. Because your oven has a setting does not mean that it's always the best way to cook. Like Weissman said, you an do a very nice turkey using convection roast. But you can have a lovely turkey doing it other ways, as well.

Check in at the Cooking forum and ask.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 5:10PM
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The high heat roasting method was developed for chicken and it originally came from Chez Louis in Paris. Barbara Kafka put it in her book and it's a special favorite on the Cooking forum.

It's fine for chicken but it's a bit tricker with turkey because there's less fat in turkey than in chicken and you're more apt to dry out the breast meat.

High heat is most successful with an unstuffed turkey.

Otherwise, I always leave my turkey our for 2 to 3 hours in a cool location (usually the mud room) but not in a hot kitchen.

I have completely eliminated egg from the stuffing because that's the problem child in these situations. You also need to be sure the stuffing is cold when it goes in unless you are cooking immediately (I mean stuff it and put it in without delay -- no waiting).

Another option, which is what I do, is stuff between the skin and the breast meat and over the legs as far down as I can get, and also stuff inside (again no egg). That's about 1/2 recipe more of stuffing.

Here's the method I've used for 25 years:

For a 12 pound turkey - I start the turkey at 425F conventional (400F convection) for 20 minutes. That gets it going and it will start to brown so be sure there's enough aluminum foil in the house since you'll need to tent it when you see it start to brown.

When you baste, don't leave the oven door open. Take the pan out of the oven, close the oven door. Do the basting and return it.

One reason turkeys don't cook through and you get a surprise at the end is because you lose half the oven heat when the door is opened, convection or no. So watch that. If it's too heavy to easily take in and out, start timing after the oven reheats to temperature.

Then turn heat to 325F conventional (300 convection) and it goes for about another 2-1/2 hours approximately -- but when an instant read thermometer registers 175F in the thickest part of the thigh and the juices run clear.

Once you take it out of the oven, keep it covered with foil and some towels for about 40 minutes before serving.

Because refrigerator and room temps vary, go by the thermometer in the thigh at the end. You don't want to undercook it or it will be rare at that ball joint where the thigh meets the body.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 5:37PM
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I highly recommend brining the turkey before roasting it -- the difference is amazing. I do it overnight in the refrigerator, using a large plastic bucket that I only use for brining. An Igloo type ice chest can also be used if you add enough ice or cold packs to keep it cold for at least 6 hours.

However, you should NOT brine your turkey if it is a Butterball or any other injected turkey.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 9:34PM
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Definately brine it makes all the difference in the world!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:53PM
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Thanks everyone. I am leaning towards getting a turkey from Whole Foods (gotta call today) and brining it. I will have to use an igloo chest with ice and thermometer. I think I will try out the convection as noted in the article directions and everyones comments here and on the cooking forum.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 11:26AM
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Here's a good link about brining a turkey.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Brining Turkey

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 11:33AM
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patches123 - your posting that link to the sfgate article made me realize I hadn't cooked a turkey in years, and never in my current oven. So I bought a 12-lb turkey and followed the recipe, and served it to my family last night. Seemed really good, and only took an hour and a half on "convection roast" mode. I had to turn it down to 325 after about an hour, since it was quite brown already - I think next time I'll just do 350. And I thought 4T salt was too much - the pan drippings ended up really salty, and so when I made gravy from them it was too salty, too. Next time less salt. (I used a "heidi's" organic turkey from whole foods.) Now I just need to figure out what to do with my pounds and pounds of leftover turkey! (I've already made leftover-cranberry-sauce muffins this morning...)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 11:52AM
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FWIW, as an alternative to brining a turkey yourself, consider one that is marked kosher. It is essentially already brined by the koshering process. Trader Joes carries kosher turkeys. And quite a number of stores carry Empire brand. You may need to ask though, as they may be in different cooler cases than the regular turkeys.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 8:48PM
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I've been roasting my turkeys w/convection roast for 10 years or so (w/o brining) and they have come out great every year! I get 20-25-pound turkeys and they roast in 3-4 hours. The first year my MIL panicked when I didn't get up early to put the turkey in the oven...she didn't believe me when I told her I didn't need to!

Anyway, I buy fresh turkeys w/no additives and stuff it w/a simple bread/egg/celery/onion/light spices dressing. I don't do anything fancy and everyone loves my turkeys & dressings...

No, I do not put my turkey out for an hour or two at room temperature. I don't want to give foodborne bacteria any time to proliferate!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 12:59AM
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Worth watching....

Here is a link that might be useful: Thermador-Bosch OVENS: Turkey 101

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 12:54PM
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Foodnut, that's a terrific video. One of the things it says is to use convection roast for a non-brined turkey, but regular roast for a brined one. Hmm. I always brine mine, but maybe I'll skip it and try the convection roast feature.

BTW, briners, Target sells a Michael Graves plastic bucket that is the perfect size and shape for brining a turkey vertically. I adjust the shelves in my spare fridge to accommodate the bucket. Works like a charm!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 11:10AM
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Interesting commentary. I used convection and brining last year for the first time. I was underwhelmed with both. Maybe I'm getting old and stodgy, stuck in my ways and resistant to change....... And I kept asking myself - why did I pay a premimum price to get a pure, unadulterated turkey not laced with sodium - and then go to some trouble to soak it in salt water for a day.......

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 1:38PM
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Where is the cooking forum? I can't find it!

Just in case here's my questions:
How do I know when/how to add the veggies to roast? Do I do them in the same pan as the turkey? (10 pounds, salted not brined). Last year's turkey was great (my first) but I timed the veg all wrong (potatoes, parsnips, carrots, shallots) and added them later to the pan with the turkey, then the turkey was ready and they weren't. Should I do them separately in their own pan? Not in the juice from the turkey? (Which I did on a rack in the pan).

Any advice - if it's only the cooking forum's link - is greatly appreciated, and needed!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 9:56PM
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To add to my previous post, I do wrap the turkey legs in foil to prevent over-browning (i.e., burning!) Oh, and I brush the turkey w/vegetable (canola) oil b/f putting in the oven. I baste it again once during roasting.

I also use the meat probe that came w/my oven and set if for 175 degrees. You do have to be sure to put the probe in the correct place to get an accurate reading...check your convection manual to see the placement. You manual should also tell you how long to expect your turkey to take to cook per pound.

Clio--I don't cook veggies w/turkey but I do sometimes cook beef roasts w/veggies (carrots & potatoes). I put them all in at the same time and cook until my meat probe/oven tells me the roast is done. The veggies turn out fine. However, b/c of their size, turkeys cook longer. If you're using convection, I'd try putting them in 30-45 minutes before you think the turkey will be done.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking Forum

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:29PM
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Thanks Buehl,
I'm not too worried about the turkey as last year's was great. I have a regular gas oven, not convection, and use a meat thermometer to know when the turkey's ready. I do a combination of US/UK roast hence the roast potatoes parsnips, etc but no casseroles or yams, squash, etc.

I think I added the veg last year about half an hour before the turkey was done and it definitely wasn't long enough. But then again I didn't let the turkey rest for half an hour, maybe that would solve it - cook them for remainder while the turkey rests?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:18PM
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jane-o did you brine your turkey and then use convection roast?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 12:17AM
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No brining - I followed the instructions in the recipe that someone linked to that said to skip brining but put 4T kosher salt on the bird before it goes in the oven. I think I'll do 2T on Thursday.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 4:24PM
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I just salted my turkey. I think I used 3 TBS of kosher salt and its now sitting in the fridge. I'm a bit nervous as I have always bought a Butterball in the past, but have been buying less processed foods in the past year, so bought a Turkey from Whole Foods today.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 1:48AM
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Rococco- if you are still here- I don't think that you need to tent or baste in the Meile oven- I heard this from a lady who was selling them- who went to a demonstration. Have you heard about this?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 7:17AM
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Help! I have a new Viking Oven with Convection. I was planning on roasting my 19lb turkey in it tomorrow but it is also already in the brine. Will it be okay?



    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:37PM
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Decided NOT to brine this year; instead used Convection Roast with Probe function in my Thermador wall oven. Whoa! My 18 1/2 pound turkey was done in an hour and 55 minutes!! It looked beautiful, was every bit as moist and tender as a brined bird, but less flavorful (i.e. no salt.)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 8:24AM
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chinchette - no I didn't hear about it. What did she say? Would love to have the info.

BTW yesterday's was the first turkey I haven't tented and it came out beautifully browned.

How did yours do?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 12:20PM
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I haven't made a turkey in a couple years, but I always started them in a 450 or so oven (possibly 425, but I'm pretty sure it was 450) for 15-20 min. and then turned the temp down to 325 for the remainder of the cooking time. I didn't cover/tent with foil 'til much later on during cooking, and then, only if really necessary (skin going beyond deep brown). Aways came out nice and juicy, with crispy skin (basted under the skin and over the skin prior to cooking with a mixture of veg/canola oil, garlic, paprika, and Beau Monde seasoning...).

That said, I have my FREE 22 lb frozen turkey from the supermarket sitting in the freezer, awaiting the day we'll use it. Is the consensus reg cooking or convection then? I don't plan on brining it, but will probably use my baste recipe.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 10:30PM
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High heat roaster here.

I roasted a brined, room-temperature, unstuffed bird at 500 (convection) for 2 hours. Tented it soon after putting it in the oven. No basting. The best turkey in recent memory.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 7:30AM
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We did 2 turkeys this weekedn -- one Thursday and another last night since we had a free one and no leftovers. We brined both and did the first our usual high heat sear followed by a low roast method. In the convection oven, it was too much -- got very brown quickly and had to be tented. It was slightly overdone, but not dry. Since most of my guests were late, I can't blame the oven.

Yesterday, we used a straight covection roast at 325. The 14 lb turkey was done in 2-1/2 hrs. No tenting, and not sure the 2 bastings did any good since the skin was already seared. It was moist, flavorful -- we definitely got the better bird for the leftovers. Maybe they'll show up on time next year. LOL

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:20PM
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cat mom
My Dacor oven has a programmed turkey/chicken setting that roasts the same way you do. They call it sear/convection. It starts with a 450 degree sear for 15 minutes and then lowers the temp to either 325 or 350 (I can't check since I'm not home). Our birds always come out great.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:17PM
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mcmann--Do either temps use the convection fan (e.g. convection at both temps, or just when it flips down to the lower temp)?

I just know I'll still be standing there in front of the oven trying to decide--"turn the convection fan on or not?" (if I even have an oven after the problems we've been experiencing with ours!).

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 9:29AM
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I realize I'm resurrecting an old thread - apologies for that. :-))

I cooked my first convection turkey yesterday, having read the old thread. I partially cooked my Xmas turkey on convection but that was largely cause I was late putting it in so I wanted to hurry it along. LOL!!

This time was Convect from beginning to end. Largely it turned out fine. I do have some questions/issues:

It seems Buehl makes basically the same stuffing I do. Mine was not wet at all before I stuffed. It would have been fine in a normally roasted turkey. However with this method it was really quite mushy -- more like porridge than stuffing and, as I LUV stuffing, I need to *fix this*.

I was thinking I'd leave out the egg/water I usually put in the stuffing but it appears you use it. OR do you use egg only with no water or just a drop or two to thin the egg?

Buehl, in the thread you didn't mention at what temp(s) you convect your turkeys. I used 375 for 20 mins then down to 325 for the remainder. A 13# turkey took 2 hours and 20 minutes to reach an internal of 175 degrees (probe). Is this similar to what you use?

You mentioned wrapping the legs or anything subject to overbrowing. Does this mean you don't tent it at all but simply cover/wrap whatever appears to be getting too brown?

I read on the noted thread that there was very little juice/fat from these convected turkeys thus gravy was hard come by. I used 2 Tbsps of Becel (marg) plus a little turkey fat in the bottom of the pan (as I do with any turkey) and had more than enough for gravy so don't know what that's about?? I was prepared for that event with turkey gravy mixes but didn't need to use them. What do you do about gravy?

I apologize for asking so many questions of you but it seems you have a very similar taste in 'turkey dinner results'. :-)) Moreover you have vastly greater experience! Hope you don't mind my picking your brain.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 3:42PM
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I think I set it at 325o and my 22 lb turkey roasts in about 3 hours. I followed the directions in the user manual that came w/my range and my turkeys always came out moist and my dressing "just right"...not too moist or dry.

I gave away my range and manual w/our remodel in January, so I no longer have the directions to look up! (I still have no kitchen!)

For the stuffing, I use egg water. Maybe that's the difference. Here's my recipe:

6 qts bread cubes
3/4 c butter, melted
2 c chopped onions
4 c chopped celery w/leaves
4 eggs
3 tsp salt


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 4:08AM
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