How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Turkey

So we all know how to roast vegetables and lightly cook our greens.

 But I do believe that we all need a little Turkey Cooking 101!

My Turkey Tips

  • Don't have a lot of time? Cut in in half! No one said you had to cook the whole turkey.
  • Get your turkey out of the fridge 30mins before roasting to minimise shrinkage.
  • Want it super moist and flavoursome? Wedge herbed butter beneath the skin to keep it moist. 
  • For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey a day before roasting and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight. This will dry out the skin slightly and aid in the crisping.
  • The more you open the oven, the drier the bird! So look through the glass front and be patient.

Get Your Timings Right

  • 3kg (6.6lb) needs 1 3/4 hours
  • 4kg (8.8lb) needs 2 hours
  • 5kg (11lb) needs 2 1/4 hours
  • 6kg (13.2lb) needs 2 1/2 hours
  • 7 - 8kg (15.5lb - 7.7lb) needs 3 hours
  • 9 - 11lg (19.8lb - 24.2lb) needs 3 1/4 hours


  1. Preheat a fan forced oven to 80c. Pat the turkey till it is very dry with kitchen paper, or if you have time, put it in the fridge overnight without a cover to dry the kin out.
  2. Rub the turkey all over with salt, about 25g for a medium sized bird.
  3. Place the turkey on a rack in an oven tray. You can put some baking paper between the turkey and the rack to stop it from sticking.
  4. Roll in glad wrap to resemble a sausage and either steam or cook in lightly simmering water for 5-10mins or until set.
  5. Place a meat thermometer into the deepest part of the turkey meat and cook till temperature reaches 80c. This may take 2-2 1/2 hours depending on your oven.
  6. Once it has reached 80c remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 225c. 
  7. Brush the turkey skin with duck fat or melted butter if you prefer. At this stage you can add your stuffing.
  8. Place the turkey in the oven and cook until golden. Remember to base and rotate every 15mins. In a domestic oven this will take 30-45mins to reach crispy golden perfection.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow 30-30mins before you start to carve.