Turkey in oven while "preheating"

I guess it’s not preheating if there’s already food in the oven. Anyway…

I’ve a turkey that needs cooking. Since it would be 9:00pm before it was done if I waited until I got home to pop it in the oven, I decided to prep the bird (i.e. toss it in the turkey bag and tray) last night and put it in the fridge. I told my son to put it in the oven when he gets home.

He can handle moving the bird/tray around but I wasn’t crazy about him manipulating it into a 350 degree oven so I told him to just put the bird in and then turn the oven on. My thinking is that, while this would technically throw off the cooking time, I’m really going to be judging via thermometer temp/pop-up gadget and not the clock.

My wife is convinced this will cause the seas to boil and the dead to rise. So before my master plan goes into effect this afternoon, is there a good reason to talk me out of this madness?

I would think the time spent in the lower temp will cause the bird to dry out quicker, but that’s just a guess. Will your son be basting the turkey for you in the early going?

It will work just fine. What’s the time to preheat an oven to 350, like 10 minutes?

My mum used to put stuff in the oven in the morning and set the timer to start cooking at, say 3:00 P.M. Worked out just fine, although these days we’re more concerned about meat sitting at room temperature than we were 40 years ago.

Shouldn’t be an issue. A turkey really doesn’t require a preheated oven.

I do it all the time, food comes out fine.

In theory, the bag should help keep the moisture in. Unless I’m grossly misunderstanding the point of the bag.

(This is an oven bag, of course. Not the wrapper/bag the bird came in)

Those bags are awesome. I have cooked my turkeys in an oven bag for like 15 years now. I’ll never do it any other way.

The real concern could be that the elements might generate hot spots while it’s trying to get the oven up to temperature but unless something is particularly close to an element you’ll be fine.

If the turkey barely fits in the oven it might be an issue, otherwise no problems.

That’s actually a good reminder. I know the turkey fits in the oven (it’s only 15 lbs) but he (being 12) might try to squeeze it between racks rather than taking one out. I’ll leave him a message about it.

Shouldn’t make any difference for something that takes as long to cook as a turkey.

As far as I know, the concept of preheating an oven is only a concern in baking.

Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about it at all. What I’m worried about is the idea that you might be using that pop up timer. Stop that!

wow - you take that ‘slow cooking’ to a whole new level.

Things to remember with the bags:

The turkey will cook a lot faster; base your cook time on the instructions that come with the bags and not on how long it usually takes.

The bag will expand as the air heats up on the inside, one time I had the bag expand to the point that it came in contact with the top of the oven and a small portion of the bag melted. From then on I have been leery about the plastic touching hot metal in the oven.

This will be the most moist, fastest, easiest and best turkey you have ever made.

Was the turkey killed with a sharp knife?

I don’t do it while baking (cookies, cakes, etc) but I always do this when cooking anything else. I’ve never had a problem. My mother did this also. I don’t think preheating is considered necessary for anything that takes more than a half hour or so to cook.

Unless you’re my mother-in-law and cook the turkey for 6 hours in the bag. It was at a full boil within the bag for hours.

Yup, only matters for foods the benefit from the initial shock of high temperature to brown the surface of the food before overcooking the middle. Stuff that cooks a long time will be fine without.

Really, you could bake almost anything without pre-heating, but it’d take a lot of trial and error to get it right. They give directions for a pre-heated oven because it’s more consistent that way: Not all ovens take the same time to get up to temperature.

But as others have said, for something that takes as long as a turkey, it’ll make very little difference.

Most of the time when I use the oven, I don’t preheat it. I’m used to keeping a constant eye on my food to tell when it’s done, anyway, so I don’t care that the time’s going to be off.