These tips come with the NFU’s campaign to back British Farming.
Your bird can be collected a few days before Christmas, but follow these steps to safe storage:
- Lift it out of its box and remove any packaging.
- Take out the giblests and keep them in a covered bowl in the fridge.
- Place the turkey on a tray in the bottom of the fridge and loosely cover with foil.
- Ensure that any liquid from the turkey, which collects in the tray, does not splash in the fridge or on any worktops or utensils (to avoid spreading bacteria).
- If your turkey is too big to fit in the fridge, put it somewhere cool out of the reach of animals or children.
- Remove your turkey from the fridge two hours before cooking so it comes up to room temperature.
- To stuff your bird, use your hands to push some of the stuffing in the neck end and put the rest in the body cavity.
- Preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF) or gas mark 5.
- Mix some freshly chopped herbs with butter and apply to the turkey breast – this will help keep it moist.
- Cover the bird loosely with foil and place in a roasting tin.
- When your oven has reached its optimum temperature, put the turkey on the bottom shelf.
- Regularly baste the turkey to retain moiture and remove the foil for the last 40 minutes so the skin turns golden brown.
- To check if your turkey is fully cooked, pierce the thickest part with a skewer. If the juices run golden and clear it is ready, if they run pink, continue cooking.
- Once fully cooked, allow excess juices to run out ot the turkey and carefully transfer to a warm dish. Allow to “rest” for around 30 minutes before carving.
- Don’t wash the turkey.
- Keep the uncooked turkey away from cooked foods.
- Wash your hands and any chopping boards and utensils that have had contact with your turkey when uncooked.
Suggested Cooking Times*
|Oven-ready weight||Approx cooking time|
|4kg (9lb)||2hrs 30 mins|
|5kg (11lb)||3hrs 10mins|
|6kg (13lb)||3hrs 30mins|
|7kg (15lb)||3hrs 50mins|
|8kg (18lb)||4hrs 10mins|
|9kg (20lb)||4hrs 30mins|
|*Please note that ovens vary and that these are suggested times only.|