Where to Put Turkey in the Oven? (Which Rack)

In this article, we will answer the query, “Where to put the turkey in the oven?” We will also discuss the importance of rack placement, and the different uses of each rack placement for cooking turkey and introduce some alternative ways to cook a turkey.

Where to put the turkey in the oven?

The best place to cook a turkey is the bottom rack. Whether you are using a convection oven or a conventional oven, the turkey should be placed on the bottom rack. 

In this way, the top of the turkey will be in the middle of the oven. This prevents the turkey from being burnt. 

In the case of a convection oven, you don’t need to worry about burning the turkey because the convection currents ensure even cooking of the meat of the turkey. However, the turkey is still to be placed on the bottom rack of a convection oven as well.

Why is the rack position important for baking a turkey?

Turkey is an important meal. It is a  festive dish cooked during holidays, especially Thanksgiving. Therefore, it is important to know the best methods to cook it to perfection. 

One of the aspects is knowing the right rack placement. By placing the turkey on the bottom rack, even cooking of the meat is ensured. 

Why can’t the turkey be placed on the top rack?

If the turkey is placed on the middle rack or top rack, the top of the turkey may become overcooked as it is closer to the source of heat. The middle layer and bottom layer will be undercooked. Therefore, to achieve even cooking, the bottom rack is the best position to place the turkey.

Is the rack position different for different sizes of turkeys?

Yes, the rack position can in fact vary with the size of the turkey that is being cooked. If the turkey is large then you must place it in the bottom rack. It will ensure even and timely cooking. If you are cooking a relatively smaller turkey, then you may place it on the middle rack. 

If the turkey is placed on the middle rack, then its top must be in the middle of the oven, or else the bottom will get dried out by the time the top cooks. 

The turkey should never be placed in the top rack as the top of the turkey will cook faster than the bottom, drying out the meat at top of the turkey.

Can turkey be cooked without an oven?

Yes, the turkey can be cooked without an oven. There are a number of alternative ways of cooking a turkey, each having its own benefits and drawbacks. The methods are listed below:

Grilling

Grilling is an excellent alternative way of cooking a turkey. It is recommended if you are short on time as it takes less time to grill than to bake a turkey.  Smoking the turkey after grilling can add a delicious flavor to the meat.

Frying

Frying is another good way of cooking a turkey. It adds an extra layer of flavor and crispiness to the skin of the turkey. However, it is important to take extra precautions because of the hot oil. 

The temperature should be maintained at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and the top of the container must provide a proper way for the hot air to escape.

To know more about cooking Turkey without an oven click here.

What is the best temperature to cook a turkey?

It is best to cook a turkey at temperatures ranging between 325-350 ℉,  depending on the type of oven you are using. A convection oven cooks food faster than conventional ovens. Therefore the temperature for a convection oven is 325 ℉. 

In a conventional oven, the turkey is cooked at about 350 ℉. This is because conventional ovens are a bit slower than convection ovens. If you are cooking a smaller turkey, which cooks faster than a big one, the temperature should again be 325℉. 

It is also important to note that the internal temperature of the turkey should reach 170℉ before it is removed from the oven. Otherwise, the meat in the center will remain uncooked and become a source of discomfort.

Conclusion

In this article, we have answered the query, “Where to put the turkey in the oven?” We also discussed the importance of rack placement, and the different uses of each rack placement for cooking turkey and introduced some alternative ways to cook a turkey.

References 

https://www.simplyrecipes.com/does_the_position_of_your_oven_rack_matter/

https://www.purewow.com/food/oven-rack-positions-explain/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.