How to roast Turkey breast without drying it out?

petra_gwNovember 21, 2012

I bought a 6.7 pound turkey breast (a fresh breast, not injected with anything) for those who want turkey instead of brisket (or both, ha). But I've never prepared breast only, just the whole turkey.

A friend told me she doesn't do turkey breast only as it always dries out, which I am hoping to avoid.

I googled it and some people brine them, others rub with spices and wrap with foil, others roast uncovered after rubbing with spices and oil. What has been the best, juiciest method for those of you who've prepared just the breast?

I have to slow-bake the brisket today which will take around 6 hours, plus I have to make the cake and pies, so the breast will have to wait til tomorrow morning. This would allow plenty of time to brine or marinate over night if that's necessary.

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lindac

Brine it over night....and DO NOT OVERCOOK IT!! 155 on a thermometer....remove and let it rest, well, covered for 30 minutes.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:08PM
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Olychick

Try a bake in bag. You will be amazed how moist it will remain.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:10PM
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petra_gw

Lindac, thanks for the tip. I tend to bake things too long. Will google brines.
Oly, I don't have a bake bag and I very much want to avoid going to the store today, it was already a madhouse Monday. Maybe that is why some people bake in aluminum foil, same principal as a bag?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:43PM
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lindac

You really don't need a bag or foil....just make sure you don't over cook it....even in a bag the breast meat will be dry and stringy if over cooked.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:46PM
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beachlily z9a

I only cook turkey breast because that all we eat! Just don't over cook it. I do it on convection and that works like a champ. No brining, but I do put sage and garlic cloves under the skin and then rub the skin with oil before putting it in the oven. Cut onion wedges and celery, stand the breast in the pan with the veggies in the cavity and roast. Absolutely yummy and no problems. Makes a lovely roasted turkey!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 4:41PM
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petra_gw

Lindac, I will set the timer to make sure to not forget to check the temp.

Thanks, beachlily, semi-stuffing it with veggies sounds really good. I don't think I have sage, but there's plenty of rosemary, might try that instead. And you can never have too much garlic. :o)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Here's an old thread on turkey breast, I make turkey breast frequently and always high heat roast it. Very juicy and the skin is crispy.

Here is a link that might be useful: turkey breast

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:24PM
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petra_gw

Great thread Bumblebeez, thanks for linking!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I just made one...came out delish. Very moist and juicy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pierre Franey turkey breast

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:57PM
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ann_t

The best tip is to not over cook.

I prefer presalting over brining and roasting at high heat. Doesn't matter though what temperature you cook at, as long as you don't over cook.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 1:47PM
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rosesinny

FWIW - I think most people cook it upside down and I never understood that. Chickens, turkeys, all those birds, people put on their backs breast side up and then stick them in the oven. The back is always the juiciest and best part, but there's almost no meat there at all.

Cook it breast down for heaven's sake. And don't overcook. If you have a pop-up timer stuck into it, take it out and throw it away. Don't forget - the meat will still cook for a few minutes when it's out of the oven.

Who cares what it looks like coming out of the oven??? Do you want it to look like a Norman Rockwell painting AND taste like one? That picture with Grandma taking the bird out of the oven with everyone looking on and imagining the dried out and tasteless dinner that awaits them - I think he was taking artistic license because a turkey butt side up just doesn't look as nice. But it tastes better.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:44PM
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lindac

Well....did you ever try to carve a turkey back side up? It rocks and wiggles and is not stable.....and generally a lot more difficult to cut up....and it's the devil's own job to flip over a hot greasy turkey so you can carve it.
I cookit breast up....and don't over cook it.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:47PM
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rosesinny

Not for carving!

You flip it over to carve. I do it all the time.

Although, believe it or not, it's actually easier to take the legs off from the back. But yeah - you can't really balance it on the breastbone! Funny visual though!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 5:01PM
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dcarch7

"---Cook it breast down for heaven's sake. ---"

I have always done it that way.

Also that's the way ATK recommends. First breast side down, then up for final browning.

dcarch

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 5:30PM
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petra_gw

The breast turned out great, good thing since the brisket was the opposite. :o)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 6:50PM
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beachlily z9a

Well, I'm glad that the turkey turned out well. What a disappointment on the brisket!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:19PM
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