Always wash the tongs, plate and thermometer stem used in checking partially cooked meats/poultry before using again.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- If stuffing the turkey, do so while the oven is preheating. Spoon stuffing lightly into turkey instead of packing firmly because stuffing expands while cooking. (Allow ½ cup (125 ml) of stuffing per pound (500 g) of turkey.
- Place turkey breast-up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
- Prior to cooking, insert stem of oven-proof thermometer (stem will need to be at least 4 1/2″ (11 cm) long) into the thickest part of the inner thigh meat, not touching thigh bone. OR near end of cooking, remove from heat and insert instant-read thermometer stem or fork thermometer tines into inner thigh meat (as above). If stuffed, check stuffing temperature by inserting thermometer stem into centre of stuffing.
- Roast uncovered, or loosely covered with foil. If you choose to baste your turkey, limit the number of times you open and close your oven (once per hour is sufficient).
- Turkey is cooked when the meat thermometer reads 170°F (77°C) for an unstuffed turkey, or 180°F (82°C) for a stuffed turkey and the juices run clear.
- See Cooking Times and Temperatures for approximate cooking times.
- Remove the turkey from the oven when cooking is completed and let stand 15 – 20 minutes to allow the juices to set.
ROASTING A TURKEY IN CONVENTIONAL VS. CONVECTION OVEN
- The Turkey Farmers of Canada recommend that consumers check with their manufacturer as to how much faster and hotter their oven might be compared to a conventional oven. Generally speaking, convection oven cooking temperatures should be 25-50°F (3.9-10°C) lower than conventional oven temperatures to prevent overbrowning due to surface drying. Convection cooking does typically cause greater moisture loss in turkey.
- The result of roasting a turkey is the same in conventional or convection ovens in that the turkey is done when the endpoint temperature is reached. Your turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 180°F (82°C) for a stuffed turkey or 170°F (77°C) for an unstuffed turkey. The drumsticks should also move easily in the joints at this point.
- Avoid overcrowding in the oven when roasting in a convection oven as crowding may inhibit air circulation and slow cooking.