Baking turkey tips can seem intimidating for some home cooks. However, with the right technique, ingredients, and temperature, delicious oven-baked turkey tips are easy to achieve. Keep reading for tips on how to bake turkey tips to crispy, juicy perfection.
What Temperature is Best for Baking Turkey Tips?
The ideal baking temperature for turkey tips is 350°F. This temperature allows the turkey tips to cook through fully while developing a nice browned, crispy exterior. While turkey tips can technically be baked anywhere from 325°F to 375°F, 350°F is the goldilandsweet spot that prevents them from drying out while still getting that delicious sear.
How Long Should You Bake Turkey Tips?
At 350°F, turkey tips will need around 30-40 minutes of baking time. Thinner cut tips may be done in closer to 30 minutes, while thicker cuts may need the full 40 minutes. You’ll want to flip the tips halfway through for even cooking.
The best way to tell when they’re finished is to use a meat thermometer. Turkey tips are safely cooked through at 165°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, look for the tips to be nicely browned and feel firm when pressed.
Should You Brine Turkey Tips Before Baking?
Brining is a technique that helps keep turkey tips juicy and flavorful when cooked. While not strictly necessary, it can be a good idea for baking turkey tips.
To brine turkey tips, submerge them in a saltwater solution (1 cup salt per gallon of water is a good ratio) for 30 minutes up to a few hours. The salt helps season and tenderize the meat while the water keeps it from drying out.
After brining, pat the tips dry thoroughly before baking as usual. The brining makes it easier for them to get browned and crispy.
What’s the Best Oil or Fat for Baking Turkey Tips?
Coating the turkey tips in a small amount of oil or fat before baking helps promote browning and crisping. Good options include:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Vegetable oil
- Bacon fat
Use about 1 tablespoon of your chosen fat per pound of turkey tips. The oil also helps any spices and seasoning adhere to the meat.
Should You Season Turkey Tips Before Baking?
Absolutely! Seasoning the turkey tips is key for flavor. Salt and pepper are a bare minimum, but you can also use herbs, spices, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, etc. Apply your desired seasonings liberally before baking.
If you want to use a wet seasoning like a marinade, brush it on the turkey tips just before putting them in the oven so it doesn’t burn.
What’s the Best Way to Prepare Turkey Tips for Baking?
Here is a simple process for bake-ready turkey tips:
- Rinse the turkey tips and pat very dry with paper towels.
- Trim off any excess fat or sinew.
- Season the turkey tips all over with desired spices and herbs.
- If brining, submerge turkey in brine for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Remove turkey from brine and pat dry if brined.
- Coat turkey all over with ~1 tbsp oil per pound.
- Let sit 20 minutes to absorb seasoning.
- Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway.
What’s the Best Pan for Baking Turkey Tips?
The best pans for oven-baking turkey tips include:
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Wire rack set in a baking sheet
- Broiler pan
- Heavy roasting pan
The pan should have edges to prevent grease drips. Elevating the turkey tips on a wire rack allows air circulation for extra crisping. Always lightly coat the pan with oil first to prevent sticking.
Should You Flip Turkey Tips While Baking?
It’s recommended to flip turkey tips halfway during their baking time. This allows both sides to cook evenly and get nicely browned and crisped. Use tongs or a spatula to carefully flip each piece.
If the pan is crowded, flip pieces in batches so you don’t accidentally tear the meat or have them stick together.
What Temperature Should Turkey Tips Be When Done?
Check turkey tips with a meat thermometer when baking. They are safely cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, look for the tips to be firm with no traces of pink when poked or cut into.
How to Tell if Turkey Tips are Overcooked
It’s easy to overcook lean turkey tips while baking. Signs of overcooked turkey tips include:
- Internal temperature over 175°F
- Very dried out, stringy, or tough texture
- Extremely dried out exterior
Your best bet is using a meat thermometer and not over-baking. Take turkey tips out of the oven when they’re around 160°F and let them rest, as they’ll continue cooking from residual heat.
Let Turkey Tips Rest Before Serving
An important step after baking is letting the turkey tips rest 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. This allows juices to redistribute through the meat for a moist, tender texture.
Tent the turkey tips loosely with foil while resting to keep warm. The internal temperature will rise a bit more as they sit.
How to Add Extra Flavor to Baked Turkey Tips
There are lots of easy ways to pack extra flavor into your baked turkey tips:
- Coat with a spice rub before baking.
- Marinade for 1-2 hours before baking.
- Stuff fresh herb sprigs under the skin before baking.
- Top with barbecue sauce during the last 10 minutes of baking.
- Coat with reserved pan drippings after baking.
Get creative with herbs, spices, sauces, and rubs! Brining also helps turkey tips retain moisture and take on more flavor.
What Goes Well with Baked Turkey Tips?
From sides to sauces, here are some delicious pairings for your baked turkey tips:
- Mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes
- Rice or baked sweet potato
- Sauteed vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, or zucchini
- Dinner rolls or biscuits
- Tossed green salad
- Gravy or pan sauce made from the drippings
- Cranberry sauce
Turkey tips pair well with almost any veggie or starchy side. Play around with different flavor and texture combinations!
How to Store Leftover Baked Turkey Tips
To store leftover baked turkey tips:
- Let cool completely, then refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking.
- Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
- Use leftovers within 3-4 days.
- Reheat gently in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave until heated through.
You can also slice and freeze leftovers for longer storage. Reheat frozen turkey tips straight from the freezer by simmering in sauce or broth until warmed through.
Common Questions about Baking Turkey Tips
Should turkey tips be baked with the skin on or off?
This comes down to personal preference. Leaving the skin on will make the tips more flavorful and moist. Baking them skinless cuts down on fat and calories.
Do you have to thaw frozen turkey tips before baking?
Turkey tips can be baked directly from frozen by extending the cooking time. However, thawing first helps them cook more evenly with better browning.
Can you overcook turkey tips in the oven?
Yes, turkey tips can definitely be overcooked if baked too long at too high of temperature. Use a meat thermometer for best results and pull them at 160-165°F.
Why are my baked turkey tips tough and dry?
Overcooking is the main culprit for dried out turkey tips. Be sure not to overbake, and let the tips rest before cutting for juicier meat. Brining before baking also helps retain moisture.
Key Tips for Juicy, Flavorful Baked Turkey Tips
Here’s a quick summary of tips for your best oven-baked turkey tips:
- Pat turkey tips very dry before baking.
- Season generously with salt, pepper, and other spices.
- Coat with just a bit of oil or melted butter.
- Bake uncovered at 350°F 30-40 minutes until 165°F internal temperature.
- Flip turkey tips halfway through baking.
- Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Time properly to avoid overcooking and drying out.
With the right steps, baking juicy, flavorful turkey tips with a crispy crust is easy and delicious. Allow plenty of time for prep, seasoning, and baking without overcooking. Let the tips rest before serving for optimum texture. Pair with flavorful sides and sauces to complement the savory meat. Follow these tips for your best oven-baked turkey yet.