Cooking an 8 lb turkey breast in the oven is still everything you love about a traditional turkey centerpiece, it is just on a smaller scale.
You will find that roasting just the breast of a turkey in the oven ensures that it cooks more quickly and evenly than a full turkey. The meat remains uniformly moist and yields delicious white meat for easy slicing. Moreover, you can serve it with a quick and delicious gravy created from the pan juices.
Read on as you learn how to cook an 8 lb turkey breast in the oven – paying attention to how long you should be cooking the meat.
Turkey Breast Nutrition Facts
Tips on How to Cook 8 Lb Turkey Breast in The Oven
Prepping the turkey breast – Before cooking your turkey breast, you will need to make sure it’s completely thawed; a completely frozen turkey breast will thaw in the fridge in about 24 hours.
Notably, turkey breasts – like turkey – can be dry-brined or wet-brined. You can begin the recipe with either of these ways the day before you cook the turkey breast in the oven.
The best temperature for cooking turkey breast – Notably, I cook turkey breasts the same way I prepare a full turkey: I brown the turkey breast in a hot 450°F oven, then reduce the heat to 350°F to allow the breast meat to cook through slowly.
Using a rack – I roast my turkey breast on a roasting rack to keep it off the bottom of the roasting pan. Ideally, you don’t need to use a roasting pan for a turkey breast because it’s smaller. You can alternatively use a baking dish or an oven-safe pan to hold the breasts.
How To Cook 8 Lb Turkey Breast in The Oven – This approach will suffice for a whole 8 lb turkey breast, feeding about 8 – 10 people.
- Start the recipe by placing the turkey in a roasting pan and set aside. You can put the turkey breast on top of veggies in a skillet or other baking dish or on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan. While the oven heats up, you will just set it aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and place an oven rack in the lowest third.
- Make sure you use some paper towels to pat the turkey breast skin dry.
- Then go on and rub the butter or oil all over the turkey breast. You can loosen the skin if you want to spread some butter into the meat beneath the skin as well.
- You can also season the breast with salt and pepper all over – you can also apply some under the skin if desired. You may need to pull the skin to cover the meat as much as possible when cooking a half-breast.
- You can reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°F and roast the turkey for 1 hour. After 1 hour of roasting, you can start checking the temperature of the turkey breast.
- Checking the temperature of the turkey., the turkey is done when the thickest section of the breast meat reaches 165°F. After 1 hour of roasting, you will need to check the breast for doneness every 10 to 15 minutes until it is fully cooked.
- To avoid over-browning, you will need to cover the skin over the breast flesh with aluminum foil at the conclusion of cooking.
Rest the turkey – You will have to allow 15 to 20 minutes for the turkey to rest, this will also allow the juices in the turkey breast to redistribute and the meat to firm up.
Carve the turkey – Place the turkey on a cutting board that has been cleaned. Then carve the turkey starting at the breast bone. You will have to continue carving until the entire breast is carved from the bone.
How Long to Cook 8 Lb Turkey Breast in the Oven
When cooking a turkey breast, a good rule of thumb; 4 pounds of flesh takes around an hour to 2 hours. Therefore, if you buy an 8 lb turkey breast, I expect to cook it for about 3 hours.
Since turkey breast cooks faster than a complete turkey, you may need to start monitoring after an hour and continue roasting until the thickest part of the meat reaches 165°F. Moreover, I also don’t bother with basting because it takes longer to cook.
|Preparation Time||Cooking Time||Total Time|
|25 minutes||2 hour, 30 minutes||2 hour, 55 minutes|
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Then proceed to butter the turkey breast on all sides, including the hollow of the breast. You should also season the breast meat with salt and pepper to taste.
- You should place the turkey breast-side up in the roasting pan after arranging the vegetables on the bottom of the pan
- Roast for 2 to 2½ hours in the oven (hen the meat hits 160 F, remove it from the oven).
- While the turkey rests, transfer it to a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, drain any drippings from the pan into a small bowl. You can combine some of the pan juices with the broth in another bowl
- Proceed to place the roasting pan on a stove over medium-high heat and add some of the juice.
- Make sure you scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add some flour and proceed to cook, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes.
- Continue to whisk in the broth while continuing to swirl. You can bring it to a boil and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove the veggies from the gravy and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Carve the breast and place it on a plate with the gravy.
You can watch this video recipe to know how well to cook an 8 lb turkey breast in the oven.