Slower cooking
June 6, 2023 2:02 PM   Subscribe

We have a turkey tenderloin that is supposed to bake at 350° for 60 minutes. But I need to put it in the oven and have it finish 90 minutes later. Can I just lower the temperature, and if so how much? I have a meat thermometer so I will be able to check its internal temp before I take it out.

If you're here to say "don't leave an oven unattended" don't bother, that advice is already all over the Internet. It will be unattended for a very short period of time — my wife is on her way home and I'm trying not to stick her with the cooking. This is within my risk tolerance.
posted by Tehhund to Food & Drink (5 answers total)
This recipe says a turkey tenderloin wrapped in bacon will cook in about 2 hours in a grill or smoker set to 225°F. As a rough guess, I would expect about 90 minutes of cooking at around 275°F.

While most sources (including the recipe above) tell you to cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (which kills bacteria like salmonella instantaneously), this will turn turkey or chicken breasts fairly dry and tough, especially if you risk overshooting. A temperature of 150–155°F is much better for breast meat and still safe as long as you let the meat rest for a few minutes after cooking.

If you have some flexibility on when you need to eat, I would try to err on the side of lower oven temperature, so you can be sure to start checking the turkey before it is done, and take it out promptly once it is at least 150°F. But if you need it to be ready within a small time window, you may need to err on the high side and risk a bit of overcooking.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:33 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]

As long as it comes up to temp, you can absolutely cook turkey "low and slow". This will vary based on the specific weight of the tenderloin, but the average turkey tenderloin would take around 90 minutes or so at 250F. IMO, so long as you're watching the thermometer, it will turn out better than at 350F.
posted by eschatfische at 2:35 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]

Does your oven have a delayed-start function?
posted by Hatashran at 3:20 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]

Before you pick a really low cook temperature, make sure you know your oven can hold it. I've tried a super slow roasting for roast beef (the recipe called for 170, which my oven won't reliably hold; even 200 didn't work (old oven in a rental apartment)). Otherwise, slow roasting makes for delicious, juicy meat, so once you get your time vs. temperature settled, go for it! 250°F as suggested above seems like a reasonable choice and one that an oven can hold more easily.
posted by carrioncomfort at 3:37 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I ended up leaving home later than expected so I just threw it in a room temperature oven and added 10 minutes of cooking time (which was probably too much) but thanks for the answers, I may use them later.
posted by Tehhund at 3:41 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]

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