How to Cook a Turkey Breast: 10 Easy Steps

How to Cook a Turkey Breast

Are you looking for the best way how to cook a turkey breast? If yes, you will get to know the best way to go about cooking turkey breasts as well as making a juicy turkey breast.

If you learn how to cook a turkey breast, it will always be a family-sized, prep time away from 30 minutes.

Therefore, it doesn’t take long to prepare this good-sized protein for roasting, whether you use a quick cooking method like pressure cooking or your Instant Pot, you will get it done.

You can as well use a slow cooker that you can set and forget, or you prepare your oven by following the instructions below.

The most appreciated component of a turkey is generally the breast. It is substantial and meaty and goes well with many other sides, particularly gravy.

However, cooking turkey breast that has been roasted, grilled, or fried might be tricky. Your seasonings may not flavor every area of the meat if you don’t properly cook the turkey breast. In addition, overcooking the turkey could result in dry meat.

Photo by Sarsmis from Depositphotos

1. How to Roast a Turkey Breast Using an Oven

Cooking turkey breast is a wise choice for Sunday meals or an intimate Thanksgiving feast because it provides enough servings for a family plus a good amount of leftovers. Let’s look at how to roast a turkey breast in an oven.

1.1. Step 1: Prepare the Turkey

Set the oven to 325 °F. The turkey breast should be taken out of its pack and dried. Lay the meat out on a pan lined with a flat roasting rack and lightly oil it. Brush lightly with melted butter, cooking oil, or vegetable oil for the greatest flavor and appearance.

1.2. Step 2: Season

Then, lightly cover the turkey with foil after seasoning to taste (we adore the rub on this barbecue spice-rubbed turkey breast).

1.3. Step 3: Cook

A meat thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the breast that is not contacting any bones. You should roast the meat until the juices flow clear and the internal temperature reaches 165°F 

2. How Long Should a Turkey Breast Cook in the Oven?

Plan to purchase 1 pound of bone-in turkey or 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound of boneless turkey per person. Choose 112 pounds of food per person if you enjoy leftovers.

Use this turkey breast roasting time chart as a general reference for roasting as you prepare for cooking time per pound:

1. Half of a boneless, 114–112 pound turkey breast: Roast for 35 to 40 minutes at 325 °F.

2. 1-half of a 2- to 2-pound bone-in turkey breast: Roast for 60 to 70 minutes at 325 °F.

3. Roast a boneless turkey breast weighing two to three pounds at 325°F for 40 to 60 minutes.

4. Whole turkey breast weighing 4 to 6 pounds Roast for 112 to 214 hours at 325 °F

5. A 6- to 8-pound turkey breast should be roasted for 24 to 314 hours at 325°F.

6. The turkey breast should be taken out of the oven and given 15 minutes to rest. Carve a turkey and serve it with your preferred side dishes.

3. How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

You may use a similar strategy for a slow cooker turkey breast recipe like the Greek Breast of Turkey recipe, which was influenced by Mediterranean cuisine. The main variations:

  • Instead of using a roasting pan, place the turkey breast in a slow cooker ($25, Target).
  • Consider using citrus and other fragrant ingredients instead of just spices, and add 1/4 cup of chicken broth.
  • For a medium-sized entire turkey breast, “roast” it in the slow cooker on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F.

4. How to Make Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast

Turkey breast cooked in a pressure cooker is very fast and quick. 4 pounds of turkey breast can be cooked in just a little bit more than an hour, including prep, cooking, and pressure release.

A similar procedure for cooking a turkey breast applies to recipes like the traditional Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast. Just make the following simple changes:

Instead of using a roasting pan, place the turkey breast in an electric pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot.

Add 1 cup of chicken broth and take into citrus fruits and aromatic vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.

For two 2-pound bone-in turkey breasts or two 1-1/2-pound boneless turkey breasts, set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 25 minutes and lock the lid.

Immediately release the pressure, then check if the meat has reached 165°F with a meat thermometer.

For 1-2 minutes, broil the meat 5 inches from the heat of the oven to crisp and brown the skin.

5. Why Should You Cook A Bone-in Turkey Breast?

High-quality bone-in turkey breasts are sometimes bigger and contain both sides of the breast as compared to boneless turkey breasts.

Both bone-in and boneless breasts can be juicy and tasty when prepared properly. Turkey breasts with the bone in, however, offer a slight benefit.

The breast’s bone acts as insulation while cooking, allowing the adjoining meat to heat more slowly and maintain moisture.

Last but not least, use bone-in turkey breasts if cooking a full turkey makes you uncomfortable. Preparing breast meat takes less time.

Also, since there is only white flesh, there is no risk of overcooking the breasts while the dark meat is cooking.

6. How to Prepare a Bone-in Turkey Breast

If you have fresh turkey breasts, you can skip the thawing step and directly move on to boiling.

It is not recommended to cook frozen turkey breasts. Meat that has been frozen outside won’t allow seasonings to penetrate, leaving it under-seasoned.

Also, it takes longer to cook frozen breasts, and the prolonged cooking time may cause the meat to become dry.

Because of these factors, you must thaw your frozen turkey before using it in any other way.

Cold water and refrigerator thawing are the two best thawing techniques. Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator by:

  • Lowering the temperature in your refrigerator to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less to stop the formation of bacteria
  • Putting the turkey breast in a baking pan while still in its packing
  • Storing the frozen turkey for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator

Put the turkey breast in the refrigerator the day before you need to cook it because it will take 24 to 36 hours to thaw there. Use cold water to thaw a turkey breast if your fridge doesn’t have enough room or if you want to thaw it more quickly.

7. How to Brine a Bone-in-Turkey Breast

Photo by Geshas from Depositphotos

Check the label of a turkey breast to see if it says brined or pre-basted before brining.

Reduce the salt in your brine recipe by half if you are using a pre-basted or brined turkey breast.

The process of brining your turkey follows the thawing stage. Brining turkey breasts seals in flavor and moisture, resulting in a deliciously moist and cooked turkey.

Wet and dry brining are your two alternatives for braising turkey breasts. The juiciest flesh is produced by wet brining, while dry brining produces the best turkey breasts.

8. How to Roast Boneless Turkey Roast

Consider a boneless roast for smaller crowds. Use the following steps to roast a boneless turkey breast.

1. Set the oven to 325 F.

2. Take off the package and outer netting plastic. Keep the roast’s inner string netting in place.

3. Juices should be drained and dried with fresh paper towels and keep the packet of gravy cold.

4. Lift the string netting and move the roast in order to make it simpler to remove the net before serving.

5. Put the roast in a 2-inch deep roasting pan with the skin side up and make sure you don’t put water in the pan.

6. Keep the roast uncovered in accordance with the cooking schedule or until the internal temperature of the turkey roast and the breast roast reaches 170° F and 175° F, respectively.

7. If the turkey is covered or put in an oven cooking bag, the roasting time will change.

8. Wrap the roast in foil and let it stand for 10 minutes before removing the net for easier removal. Slice the roast, then remove the netting.

9. Oven Roasting Turkey Breast

You can produce cooked breasts with a crispy exterior and moist flesh on the interior by roasting them in an oven, which provides more control over the cooking temperatures.

To roast a turkey breast in the oven, follow these steps:

  • Using a paper towel, dry the turkey breast.
  • Butter or vegetable oil should be used to coat the turkey breast on all sides.
  • Mix the meat with your dry spices.
  • Put the meat on a rack in a small roasting pan, with the breast side up.
  • Put the turkey pan inside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • After the turkey is golden brown, tent it loosely with aluminum foil (it will help prevent over-browning)
  • When the thickest section of the turkey breast gets to 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer, remove the breast from the oven.
  • Before slicing the meat, let it rest for 10 minutes.

10. Other Cooking Methods

You can cook your turkey breasts using these alternative techniques if you don’t have an oven or if you want a different flavor or texture.

Try smoking bone-in turkey breasts if you enjoy the flavor and aroma of smoked meat.

The flavor of grilled turkey breasts is different and delicious. You can prepare and grill a bone-in turkey breast if you want a grilled turkey that is moist and tasty.

With air frying, you can have fried turkey without adding extra calories to the oil.

11. Reasons to Roast a Turkey Breast

Photo by Vadidak from Depositphotos

There are other occasions besides Thanksgiving. You can consider roasting a turkey breast by yourself.

Here are a few more instances you can use turkey breast:

Extra white meat: Is white meat preferred by your family over dark meat? Thus it makes sense to roast an additional turkey breast.

A few extra guests (in non-Pandemic times): Turkey breast comes to the rescue if you have many guests that like turkey and won’t mind getting a second turkey.

Trial run: Try out turkey breasts if you’re hesitant to use a new spice rub or roasting technique for Thanksgiving because of potential failure.

Year-round turkey: This size of turkey breast is ideal for a week’s worth of sandwiches.

12. Turkey Breast Recipes

Listed below are some recipes to get you started:

12.1. Mustard & Sage Roasted Turkey Breast

This straightforward method yields flavorful turkey breasts with little effort on the part of the cook (less than 20 minutes). There will be eight to ten servings of beef left over.

12.2. Maple Bourbon Glazes Bone-in Turkey Breast

Thanksgiving and other celebrations go well with this recipe for bone-in turkey breast. Preparation takes 20 minutes, and cooking takes roughly two hours.

You will receive potatoes and other things on the side for a well-balanced lunch, and the meat is rich, flavorful, and moist.

12.3. Herbs De Provence Bone-in Turkey Breast Roast

Try this dish if you’re throwing a sophisticated dinner party. It tastes good and contains enough meat to serve six people. Do not be intimidated by the 12- to 24-hour prep period; the results are worthwhile.

13. How to Buy Turkey Breast

Just because bone-in turkey breast produces more flavorful, juicier flesh, it is preferable. Turkey breasts with the bone-in are typically bigger and come in half or full-breast sizes (two halves joined at the bone).

Normally, there is only one breast per boneless turkey breast. You can use boneless in this recipe if you like (we’d still suggest skin-on), but you’ll likely need to decrease the cooking time to allow for its smaller size.

You can plan to buy 112 pounds of turkey per person with leftovers or 1 pound of turkey per person without leftovers as a general rule.

Using a 3-pound turkey breast, this dish easily serves two to three adults, however, you can adjust the serving size as necessary.

14. How Long Should You Roast a Turkey Breast?

A bone-in turkey breast should generally be cooked at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for 20 minutes per pound, or until it achieves a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F. (74 degrees C).

Put an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest portion of the turkey’s breast, but make sure it doesn’t get into the bone.

Before serving, make sure to let the turkey rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the fluids to penetrate the meat.

15. Bottom Line

As you get ready to cook turkey breast using any of these techniques, food safety is of the utmost significance.

Plan to cook the raw turkey within two days of purchase, and store it in the refrigerator in its original package. A frozen turkey can be kept for up to two months.

For the freshest outcome, wrap the turkey with foil before freezing. When you’re ready, use these guidelines to defrost your turkey.

Whatever time of the year, prepare a juicy, delicious entrée for supper by using one of these three turkey breast cooking techniques listed above.

Read more from us here.

16. Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are the frequently asked questions on how to cook a turkey breast

16.1. How Many Hours Can you Use to Cook  1kg of Turkey Breast?

Depending on the weight of your turkey or turkey joint, cooking times will vary, but as a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to allow 20 minutes per kg.

There should be an additional 70 minutes if the turkey or joint weighs under 4 kg or 90 minutes if it weighs over 4 kg, at a cooking temperature of 190°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

16.2. How Long Does it take to Cook a Stuffed Turkey Breast?

It takes 1 hour or 12 to 15 minutes per pound.

16.3. Do you Use Water When Roasting Turkey?

No, it is not recommended to use water when roasting turkey

16.4. What Should I Put on my Turkey Before Cooking?

You should add salt and pepper.

16.5. Do you Wash Turkey Breast Before Cooking?

You should wash your hand before washing the turkey breast.

16.6. Can you Overcook a Turkey Breast?

Yes, you can always overcook a turkey breast if you wish to.

16.7. Should I Put Butter or Oil on my Turkey?

You are expected to use oil and not butter.

16.8. How to Know When Turkey Breast is Cooked

To know when your turkey breast is ready to serve, the reading should be 170 – 175ºF (77 – 80ºC).

16.9. Why is my Turkey Breast so Tough?

Your turkey breast is so tough because you have overcooked it.

16.10. What to Serve with Turkey Breast?

You can serve mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, cranberry fluff, and creamed corn with your turkey breast.

16.11. Should I Cover Turkey With Foil when Cooking?

Yes, you should, it will give the best moister results which you will enjoy with your family and friends.

16.12. Does Salt Help Keep a Turkey Moist?

Yes, it helps. It also adds to the taste of the turkey.

16.13. Why Put Apples in a Turkey?

This turkey is moist and delicious because of the mild flavor and added moisture from the apple and vegetable stuffing.

That is a fantastic way to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other occasion. 




About Author

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

How to cook a turkey

How to Cook a Turkey : 11 Steps to Cook the Perfect Turkey

If you want to cook a good quality Turkey, you need to follow these 11 steps to cook a perfect
11 Useful Bakery Goods

11 Useful Bakery Goods That You Must Know for Cake Recipe

Do you want to know about bakery goods before preparing a delicious cake? Here are 11 useful bakery goods that