For the past few years I have been cooking turkey using a low temperature method, using the Splendid Table recipe. In short: after a 45 minute blast at 450 F to kill the bacteria on the skin and in the chest cavity you turn it down to ~170 F and cook it for ~1 hr/lb.

Those instructions are for a conventional oven. This year I have a convection oven, and I would like to use the convection feature. There are plenty of recipes for the normal high temp convection oven turkey cook out there, but I haven't really seen anything talking about using a convection oven for a low temp cook.

Has anyone done this? Does the convection feature shorten the cook time? How many hrs / lb in a convection oven? The obvious answer is: "cook it until the meat reaches 165 F". Yes, that will be done, but I first wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions for time so I can roughly schedule the cook.

2 Answers 2


I've never cooked anything that low and slow in a convection oven.

But a cursory lookabout led me to this Sysco chart,


There is a section for whole turkey 16 to 20lbs, 275-300F, for 4-5 hours.

But more importantly a note at the bottom states,

"For menu items not listed, use recommended time and temperature for conventional oven but reduce the temperature setting by 25-50 degrees F and reduce the total bake/roast time by approximately 10 to 15 percent."

So if I were you using that recipe, I'd do 420F for 40 minutes, then 140F for 45m/lb, adjusting the time and temp by intermittent temperature checks.

Looking at a couple more sites and conversions those numbers from Sysco appear to fall in line. That's if the oven goes that low I'd imagine, 140F is pretty low.

  • At 140°F, doesn't that mean that the meat will never heat more than that temperature? If so, it's going to taste rare no matter how long it's cooked for. Chicken dark meat tastes best at around 165°F for instance, so would it make sense to set the oven to anything less than that? Dec 29, 2022 at 0:00

Cooking by time and weight is extremely unreliable.

Get an electronic thermometer, insert the probe into the meat and watch the temperature on the display on the counter.

When the breasts are 150°F (66°C) and the thighs 165°F (74°C), it's done. (Try the probe in a few places to ensure there are no cool spots.)

No weighing, no timing, no guessing.

The Best Simple Roast Turkey With Gravy Recipe | Serious Eats

For even better control of the uneven ideal temperatures (white meat at 165°F will be very dry), try spatchcoking (removing the spine from) the turkey:

Crisp-Skinned Spatchcocked (Butterflied) Roast Turkey With Gravy Recipe | Serious Eats

  • So when do you start cooking the turkey? With the information from your answer I would guess an hour as easily as 10 hours. Not helpful for what OP asks about.
    – Willeke
    Dec 25, 2020 at 10:12

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