How to cook the perfect turkey this Christmas

It’s that time of year again, where millions of people are beginning to think about Christmas. Along with the stress of buying gifts and finding space (and patience) for the relatives comes the stress of cooking up a suitable Christmas feast. While many of the techniques used for Christmas dinner we’re well used to – one question which often incurs some headaches is ‘What is the best way to cook a turkey?’. It’s a staple part of most Christmas dinners and something that needs careful planning and attention. Here we offer some of the best tips from around the web.

Choose wisely
First things first, when it comes to turkeys bigger doesn’t always mean better. You might want to impress by choosing a huge fattened up turkey but what happens when you get home and it won’t fit in the oven? Try and avoid this mistake by choosing only a turkey that’s going to fit both in your oven and in a roasting tin with enough room to catch all the fat, flavour and juices which you can use to make a tasty gravy – yum!

Thaw it properly
You need to thaw your turkey completely before you place it in the oven. Generally speaking, it’s best to do this for a few days, potentially more dependent on the size of the turkey in question. If it’s a particularly big bird, and you have a particularly large family – or appetite – then you may need to keep it in the fridge for a little longer in order to thaw completely.

Weigh your turkey to calculate the cooking time
Timings are critical here. In order to get an accurate cooking time, you need to know the full weight of your turkey, so look for the measurement on packaging and weigh it yourself at home. If you mess up here then you may end up with an overcooked turkey which is dry and lacking in flavour, or worse a turkey which is undercooked and inedible. As a rule of thumb, we recommend you follow these timings based on 180°C/350°F/gas 4:

4 - 6kg (2 hours 15 minutes to 3 hours cooking time)
7 – 8kg (3 – 4 hours cooking time)
9 – 10kg (4 to 4 hours 30 minutes cooking time).

Don’t forget to preheat your oven and to rest your turkey and allow it to cool when its finished in there.  For extra flavour you should cover your turkey in foil, removing it an hour before it is due to be finished cooking which will leave nice and brown.

For more tips and advice on getting through the ordeal of festive cooking, read our blog on how to ‘Take the stress out of Christmas dinner’ here.

Alternatively, click here for some seasonal recipes ideas or here to find out more about our wide selection of range cookers. You can also call us on 01903 885566 or visit us in store at Meridian House, Ford Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BH.

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