Question Answers Recipes Reviews Supplies Register
Cooking Baking Ingredients Equipment Techniques Entertaining Holidays Ethnic Nutrition Safety Desserts Drinks History Science Kids
Slow-Roasting a Turkey in a Roaster Oven (Not!)

I want to cook my Turkey overnight! What is the lowest temperature that is safe to slow-cook it! I'm using an electric roaster! Please help! Have yourself a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Thank you! The problem with your plan is that electric roasters generally cook quite a bit faster than regular ovens, not more slowly. There are other problems, too.

What the government's food safety people are concerned about is whatever portion of your turkey stays below 140F (60C) for whatever period of time. Their goal is that it be no longer than 2 hours. If you had a way to get the entire turkey to 140F quickly, they would let you take as long as you like to get the turkey finished (to 165F (105C) in the thickest part of the thigh). The problem is, of course, that you can't get the turkey to 140F quickly (other than deep frying), and then it doesn't take all that long for the last 25F.

If you set a conventional oven to 200F or even 250F (93C or 121C), portions of your turkey depending on its size would spend hours and hours below 140F. On top of that, you want to use a roaster, which is likely to cut 25% or so off your cooking time. You're going to need an awfully short night!

We understand you have a plan and it hurts us to deny you, but you did use the word "safe" in your question, and we're going to have to side with the government on this one (325F (163C) is the lowest oven temperature setting they allow for cooking a turkey).

Are there people who do what you suggest? Quite likely. Are they taking risks? They are.

While we use our every breath begging people to get a reliable meat thermometer, we're just going to suggest you get (or remember to set) an alarm clock.

Submit your question
to Ochef

Related Articles:
All About Turkey
Slow-Roasting a Frozen Turkey
Roasting a Turkey in a Roasting Bag
Roasting a Turkey in a Brown Paper Bag
Can You Cook a Stuffed Turkey in a Roaster Oven?
Related Recipes:
Fool-Proof Roast Turkey
Maria Cerqueira Da Mota's Roast Stuffed Turkey
Herbed Roast Turkey
Juicy Oven-Bag Turkey
Cajun Deep Fried Turkey

Register 2001-2006 OCHEF LLCSearchAdvertiseContact UsPrivacySite MapLinks