What Are the Best Tips for Roasting Turkey Breast?

S. McNesby

The best tips for roasting turkey breast include picking a good-quality bird, properly preparing it for cooking, and then roasting it for the optimal amount of time at the correct temperature. The process of roasting turkey breast begins at the grocery store or butcher; picking the right size bird for one's oven, pan, and family size will help ensure success. Enough time should be allowed to prepare the turkey, stuffing, and any trimmings that will be served alongside, and the meat should be served at the correct temperature for best results.

A turkey.
A turkey.

The ideal roasting turkey breast should be picked after considering the type and size to serve. At least one pound per person should be purchased; a meal for six people would require at least a 6-pound turkey breast. A decision should be made whether the meat will be purchased fresh or frozen. Fresh turkey can be poked to see if it offers plenty of meat; frozen turkey can be selected if it won't be cooked within 48 hours.

Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the breast has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the breast has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

A roasting turkey breast is all white meat; since it doesn't have the added fat of the dark meat, adding fat and moisture prior to the cooking process will help produce a flavorful, tender meal. The meat should be brined prior to roasting to add moisture and flavor. Immersing the turkey in heavily salted water and allowing it to soak will keep it from drying out as it cooks. A few hours should be allowed for brining before turkey breast is roasted.

Once the turkey breast is brined, slipping a few pats of butter under the skin will add fat to the meat and keep if from drying out. The turkey skin should be separated from the meat; then pats of butter should be slid underneath the skin. The butter will also add fat to the turkey breast and give the cooked breast a crisp, brown finish.

One of the most important things to remember when roasting turkey breast is to cook the meat and stuffing to the proper temperature before serving. The USDA recommends cooking turkey breast to 165°F (about 74°C). This temperature should be checked with a meat thermometer and should include stuffing as well as meat.

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