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Convection Roast Heritage Turkey

Convection Bake or Convection Roast Mode

The deep rich flavor of the a completely natural Heritage turkey is enhanced by being roasted in Convection and no brine is needed to prevent moisture loss. Turkey roasted in Convection has better flavor and more moisture retention. Best of all the cooking time is under two hours 

When I researched how to cook a Heritage turkey I was surprised that a high cooking temperature was recommended. Some high heat is definitely advantageous for crisping and browning, but because Convection cooks food from the edge to the center keeping the temperature high for the entire cooking time can result in overcooked edges and an underdone center. I used a combination of high heat and mostly moderate heat with great results.


1 heritage turkey, fully defrosted, neck and any other giblets removed

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped into 1” chunks

1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 1” dice

3 cloves garlic, smashed

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

½ tsp herbs de Provence

2 cups chicken or turkey stock


Making sure the turkey is completely defrosted prior to cooking is very important. I allowed 3 days in the refrigerator to defrost my 13lb turkey and still had to put it in the oven using the defrost mode to dissolve the ice crystals and bring it to room temperature. Letting the turkey sit in the refrigerator overnight uncovered to let the skin dry is also suggested to achieve a crisp skin. I draped a sheet of wax paper over the bird to avoid contact with anything else in the refrigerator.

I used a light stuffing of apples, onion, garlic, and thyme for added flavor but for food safety, bread or grain stuffing should be baked separately. Plan to cook the turkey to an internal temperature between 150 - 160 degrees and then let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

I cooked my turkey to 150 degrees and found parts near the bone still had a rosy tinge, but the meat was cooked through.

Once the turkey was in the oven I added 2 cups of chicken stock to the pan. After deglazing the pan I was able to capture enough juice to create a flavorful gravy.

Cooking time for a 13 - 15lb turkey following the recipe guidelines will be 1 hour 40 - 50 minutes depending on how cold the turkey is when it goes into the oven.

To Cook The Turkey

Blot the turkey dry inside and out with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, and garlic with olive oil and fresh thyme and place in the cavity.

Tie the legs together with twine leaving some space between the legs and the body of the bird, I usually use a skewer but these legs are so heavy twine works best to keep them in place.

Season the turkey all over with Kosher salt.

Combine the softened butter with the herbs and if possible carefully separate the skin from the flesh and rub the butter under the skin.  I found the skin didn’t come away very easily so I ended up spreading most of the butter over the skin.

Heat the oven in the Convection Bake or Convection Roast Mode at 400F (205C).

Place the turkey on a rack in a shallow pan (this is important as it allows the heated air to penetrate evenly into the bird) and insert the meat probe into the thickest part of the thigh, taking care that it doesn’t touch any bone.

Place the bird in the oven on the second rack up from the bottom and carefully pour the stock into the pan. Close the door, touch the probe symbol and program the internal temperature to reach 150F(65C) then set the timer for 15 minutes.

When the timer has elapsed, reduce the oven temperature to 325F (163C) for the remainder of the cooking time. If your oven doesn’t have a meat probe check the internal temperature after 1 hour and 40 minutes of cooking time. Pierce the thigh to make sure the juices run clear before resting and carving.

For the Gravy

Place the turkey neck in a saucepan, cover with water and combine with a whole onion, a carrot, a bay leaf and a few sprigs of fresh parsley. Bring to a boil, immediately lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 40 minutes. Discard the solids and set the stock aside to make gravy.

Place the turkey on a rimmed baking pan loosely covered with foil to rest. Place the cooking pan (the one you cook the turkey) over two burners set to moderate heat. For Induction cooktops, scrape everything into a saucepan making sure to include all the little browned bits. Add a ½ cup of red wine to the pan and stir carefully to deglaze. Pour the liquid into a glass measuring cup and when it settles skim off the fat and use the remaining liquid to add to the stock for gravy.

Place 2 tbsp unsalted butter in a medium sized saucepan over moderate heat. When the butter melts add 2 tbsp of flour, stir to combine and cook over gentle heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the heat and stir in the stock and pan juices, continue to stir until the mixture thickens slightly and there are no lumps. Taste and add sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Serves 6 - 8

Convection Roast Heritage Turkey
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