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Cook a Turkey Breast

Cooking a turkey breast is the perfect solution for those dinners where no one likes the dark meat. Turkey breasts usually range from 4 to 8 pounds and can be purchased stuffed or un-stuffed. You can also stuff a turkey breast at home, if desired. Because the breast is much smaller than a whole turkey, it takes much less time to cook.

In the Oven

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degree F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up in a roasting pan. Add 1/4 cup of water. Tent the pan with aluminum foil or the roaster lid for 20 minutes per pound of turkey breast. Baste with butter occasionally and remove the foil during the last hour of cooking time to brown the breast. An 8 pound turkey breast will take approximately 2 3/4 hours to fully cook. If the breast is stuffed add an additional 45 minutes cooking time.

On the Grill

Rub the turkey breast with oil or butter. Wrap securely in aluminum foil. Cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes per pound. A 6 pound breast will take approximately 2 hours to fully cook. The foil can be removed for the last 30 minutes to facilitate browning. If the breast is stuffed add an additional 30 to 45 minutes to the cooking time.

In the Crock pot

Place the turkey breast in the slow cooker and add 1/4 cup of water or white wine. Place the lid on the cooker and turn the heat to low. Cook for 6 to 8 hours without lifting the lid. Check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F after the allotted cooking time. A turkey breast can be cooked in 3 to 6 hours, depending on size, if the crock pot has a high setting.

A Few Tips

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA recommends that all poultry products be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast to determine doneness. If the breast is stuffed, the temperature of the stuffing should also be 165 degrees F for safety.  This temperature has been determined to be the optimal temperature for both meat doneness and to stop or kill any bacterial growth in the meat or stuffing.

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