Rob put on his best apron for our video demonstrating his easy turkey cooking instructions for those of you who love a classic Christmas dinner.
If you’re lucky enough to be having a beautiful free range norfolk black or norfolk bronze turkey from an award winning producer like us you shouldn’t have to worry about following some complicated recipe – simple is best!
Before you start
On Christmas Day make sure you take your turkey out of the fridge (or cool area) a couple of hours before preparation to bring it up to room temperature.
Sometimes the giblets will be in the cavity of the bird in a plastic bag (this is the case with our turkeys) – so make sure you check this and take them out if necessary as you don’t want to cook them in the bag!
Turkey Cooking times
When figuring out when your turkey needs to go in the oven do the following:
- Allow 20 min per pound for the turkey
- Plus 30 to 40 minutes for letting the meat rest before carving
(see the last section: Finishing Off)
Weigh the bird without giblets and work out cooking time based on the information above.
Working backwards from when you want to serve dinner, you will be able to figure out what time the turkey needs to go into the oven.
Then make sure you Preheat your oven to around 180 to 200°C (gas Mark 4 to 5) so it’s up to temperature when the bird goes in.
Preparing your turkey
Place your turkey in a roasting tin – then pour approximately 3/4 of a pint of water into the bottom of the tin – this helps keep the moisture in the bird.
We recommend cooking stuffing separately as balls or in an oven proof dish.
Placing stuffing in the birds cavity makes it very difficult to have both bird and stuffing perfectly cooked.
Now simply cover the turkey in foil ready for the oven.
Cooking your turkey
Put the turkey in the preheated oven at the correct time (see Turkey Cooking Times above) – giving it a blast for 40 min at 200°C, then turning it down to 180°C.
There’s no need to baste the turkey, just leave it to cook.
Around an hour before the turkey is due to be cooked take it out and place your thermometer in the thickest part of the breast.
If you do not have a thermometer pierce the thickest part of the breast with a fork..
If the juices are clear when the breast is pressed with the fork the turkey is cooked, if the juices still contain some blood or redness more cooking is required.
When the turkey is almost cooked (about half an hour to go) we recommend removing the foil and placing back in the oven to brown and crisp and the skin off.
Once the full cooking time is a lapsed and you’ve checked the turkey is up to temperature using the thermometer or fork method, do the following:
- Remove the turkey from the oven
- Re-wrap in foil
- Leave to stand for 30 to 40 minutes to let the meat rest before carving.