The National Turkey Federation recommends roasting a turkey breast in a preheated 325 degrees F oven until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast. Pop-up timers are helpful as a preliminary step in judging the correct temperature, but a meat thermometer is the best final authority to determine doneness.
A shallow roasting pan should be used so oven air can flow completely around the turkey breast. Pans with sides higher than one inch will shield the thickest part of the turkey from the heat, and the breast will not cook evenly. For easier clean-up, add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
The addition of 2 cups of coarsely chopped celery, onion and carrots to the breast cavity will enhance the fragrance and add to the flavor of the pan juices. Season the skin and bone sides with salt and pepper.
Check out the following NTF guidelines for a fresh or thawed turkey breast roast in a 325 degrees F conventional oven on the lowest oven rack.
|Weight||Unstuffed Turkey Breast||Stuffed Turkey Breast|
|4 to 6 lbs.||1½ to 2¼ hrs.||N/A|
|6 to 8 lbs.||2¼ to 3¼ hrs.||3 to 3½ hrs.|
For uniform results, it is recommended to cook the stuffing outside of the bird. But if the turkey is stuffed, the stuffing should be placed loosely into the breast cavity. The center of the stuffing should reach 165 degrees F before removing the turkey from the oven.
Use roasting times as a planning guide only; use a thermometer to determine actual doneness. Allow the turkey breast to stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving the bird.