Preparing and Cooking

These tips come with the NFU’s campaign to back British Farming.

Storing

Your bird can be collected a few days before Christmas, but follow these steps to safe storage:

  1. Lift it out of its box and remove any packaging.
  2. Take out the giblests and keep them in a covered bowl in the fridge.
  3. Place the turkey on a tray in the bottom of the fridge and loosely cover with foil.
  4. 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).
  5. If your turkey is too big to fit in the fridge, put it somewhere cool out of the reach of animals or children.

Preparing

  1. Remove your turkey from the fridge two hours before cooking so it comes up to room temperature.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF) or gas mark 5.
  4. Mix some freshly chopped herbs with butter and apply to the turkey breast – this will help keep it moist.
  5. Cover the bird loosely with foil and place in a roasting tin.

Cooking

  1. When your oven has reached its optimum temperature, put the turkey on the bottom shelf.
  2. Regularly baste the turkey to retain moiture and remove the foil for the last 40 minutes so the skin turns golden brown.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Tips:

  • 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.

Turkey outline
Find out the choice, size and prices of our birds