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How to roast a whole turkey

Tips to perfecting your Christmas roast turkey

Essential advice for cooking roast turkey this Christmas

To make a traditional Christmas roast turkey is a wonderful thing to do. Presenting it on the table is a celebration in itself and while many think it’s a bit of task to accomplish, with these few simple tips on hand you’ll be carving up the perfect bird that will have everyone wanting seconds.

We spoke to the experts at Steggles about what you need to know about cooking a roast turkey:


How to prepare a whole turkey for roasting:

If you’re starting with a frozen turkey be sure to defrost it all the way through before cooking.  The best way to do this is to place the turkey in the fridge for a couple of days until thawed out completely.

How to prepare stuffing for roast turkey:

Don’t place stuffing in the turkey and then refrigerate over night. Prepare your stuffing a day ahead, minus any egg.  Then just before stuffing the turkey, mix the egg through the stuffing.

How to brine a whole turkey:

To get a perfectly seasoned, moist turkey immerse it in a salt-water solution for at least 24 hours before cooking.  You can also add herbs and spices to the solution for extra flavour.

How to roast a whole turkey: 

Remove the turkey from the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking.  Start roasting in a very hot oven for the first 20 minutes and turn down to a moderate heat until cooked through (when the thickest part of the thigh reaches 80c).   Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes after cooking.

How to carve a whole turkey:

Firstly make sure your chef’s knife is sharp!  Start by removing the wings and thighs and then move onto the breast.  Slice close to the rib cage with the flat of your knife right up against the bone to remove the breast and then slice into individual slices.  Arrange on a platter and serve.

Storing leftover roast turkey:

Remove the meat from the carcass and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.  To freeze, wrap the left over meat in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container.  Be sure to write the date on the container and freeze up to one month.

Food safety tips for cooking turkey: 

  • Thaw frozen turkey in the fridge and never on the kitchen bench.
  • A large turkey can take more than three days to thaw.
  • Once thawed, leave the turkey in the fridge until it ready to cook.
  • Only stuff the turkey just before cooking.

To learn more about all things Christmas turkey, visit the Steggles website.

Easy Christmas roast turkey recipe

Traditional Brined Christmas Roast Turkey: Steggles

If you don't need a full turkey for Christmas, try cooking with Turkey breast cuts instead

An alternative to whole turkey; Pan Fried Turkey Breast – Steggles

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