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Illinois Country Living


Jananne Finck
Jananne Finck, MS, RD, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Springfield Center. University of Illinois Extension.

Safety & Health:

Cooked to Perfection
Take the Time to Safely Prepare the Turkey

Cooking Turkey in an Electric Roaster

The electric roaster oven serves as an extra oven to cook the turkey or roast. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the cooking time and oven temperature setting are usually the same as conventional cooking. Always check the roaster’s use and care manual for manufacturer’s recommended temperature setting and temperature.

Before cooking, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends preheating the electric roaster oven to at least 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the turkey on the roaster oven’s rack or other meat rack so the juices will collect in the bottom of the oven liner. Leave the lid on throughout cooking, removing it as little as possible to avoid slowing the cooking process.

Cooking bags can be used in the roaster oven as long as the bag doesn’t touch the sides, bottom or lid. Follow directions given by the cooking bag manufacturer, and use a meat thermometer to be sure the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast reaches the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.

DO NOT use brown paper bags for cooking, cautions USDA. They are not sanitary, may cause a fire and may emit toxic fumes. Intense heat may cause a bag to ignite, causing a fire in the oven. Plus - the ink, glue, and recycled materials in paper bags can give-off toxic fumes when they are exposed to heat. Instead, use commercial oven cooking bags found in your local grocery store.

For more information on cooking turkey, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854 (1-888-MPHotline), Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern time. USDA information is also available at: www.fsis.usda.gov/

University of Illinois Extension features turkey information in English and Spanish, including recipes at: http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/turkey/

Testing Turkey for Doneness

The best way to be sure a turkey is done and cooked safely, is to use a food thermometer. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the minimum temperature of the turkey should be 165 degrees F and measured in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer.

If the turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, USDA recommends that a food thermometer be used to test the temperature.

When cooking only a turkey breast, the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.

ALTERNATE WAYS TO COOK TURKEY

Note: Always make sure whole turkeys reach 165 °F as measured in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

Method

Size

Estimated Cooking Time

Notes

Electric roaster oven

8 to 24 lbs.

Generally same times as for oven roasting.

Minimum oven temperature 325° F. Check appliance manual.

Grilling: Covered Charcoal Grill or Covered Gas Grill

8 to 16 lbs.

15 to 18 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.

Air in grill must maintain 225 to 300° F; use drip pan.

Smoking a Turkey

8 to 12 lbs.

20 to 30 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.

Air in smoker must maintain 225 to 300° F; use drip pan.

Deep Fat Frying

8 to 12 lbs.

3 to 5 minutes per pound. DO NOT STUFF.

Oil must maintain 350° F.

Cooking Turkey Frozen

8 to 24 lbs.

Add 50% additional cooking time per chart.

Do not use oven cooking bag; remove giblets during cooking.

Microwaving a Turkey

8 to 14 lbs.

9 to 10 minutes per pound on medium (50%) power. DO NOT STUFF.

Use oven cooking bag. Rotate during cooking.

Pressure Cooker

Turkey parts

Times vary by altitude.

Follow manufacturers’ directions.



For More Information:

Jananne Finck, MS, RD, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Springfield Center. University of Illinois Extension, 217-782-6515.

 

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