Todd's Turkey


A word about Convection Ovens:
This year I find myself in a house with a convection oven. It's all new to me. Based on some reading on the internet, I decided to try the '25/25 rule'. This says that if you have a conventional oven recipe, a good starting point for convection is to cut the temperature 25 degrees, and cut the cooking time 25%.

So for our 21 pound turkey, I set the oven to 300 degrees and did all the other steps outlined above. I pulled the turkey out at 2-1/2 hours, figuring that was pretty close to the reduction in time needed (bearing in mind the additional time after the 'flip'). The back of the turkey was nicely browned at 2-1/2 hours (actually, it looked pretty good starting at 1-1/2 hours in). I flipped the bird (sorry mom) and cooked it another 30 minutes, still at 300 degrees. At that point, it read 'done' at 180 degrees in the thigh meat. With the breast not yet a 'presentable' brown, I jacked the oven temp up to 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then pulled the bird out of the oven.

How was it? Just a little on the underdone side, though many people consider my turkey just a tad 'too pink' anyway. In particular, the breast meat on this convection bird was a little under. Next time I do a 21 pound turkey in a convection oven, I think I'll flip at two hours and hopefully get a solid hour on the 'breast side up' evolution.

Convection update:

I now have one more convection turkey in my wake. I flipped at two hours, got a solid hour on the breast side up. I pulled it at 180 degrees indicated in the thigh meat, and it still was not quite done enough down next to the breast bone / ribs. This works out OK for the two of us, as I can stop carving at 'pink' and relegate that meat to the soup pot. But this would not be acceptable for a large family gathering where the bird gets completely carved out and served. Bottom line, I don't think convection cooking for a turkey is something I will revisit unless I have some timeline issue where it seems like an advantage.


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