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How to cook Turkey Tips! Fresh Turkey

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Tips on how to cook Turkey!
Click on pictures to see larger images.

•Try removing the legs and cooking them seperately. This gives a shorter cooking time for the breast which can be cooked on the carcase. The shorter time reduces the chance of drying out.

  • Detach the skin and snap the leg joint to remove then cut between the joint.snapping leg joint
  • Remove the wishbone to facilitate easier carving especially if you are stuffing the neck cavity.
  • SCRAPEscraping wishbone
    Firstly scrape along the flesh with a knife until you clear the bone

    Clearing wishbone
  • Secondly with your fingers rub the bone clear of flesh


Detach the wishbones at the base with a knife

Removing Wishbone


Lift up and away to remove the wishbone whole



•Cook the bird breast down for the first two thirds of the cooking time it helps keep the meat moist. Lay some carrots and onions slices on the baking tray, it stops the skin frying and getting damaged on the baking tray.

•Choose a Baking tray that fits well ie is not too big as the juices will burn and spoil the gravy. Add a little water or stock if the juices begin to dry up.

•If you have the time bone the legs, stuff them and cook seperately wrapped in foil. Cook the remaining stuffing rolled into balls or into a sausage which is sliced!

Turkey with legs removed

•If you want to stuff the turkey do so only in the neck it is unlikely a cavity stuffed bird will reach a safe internal temperature without overcooking the breast meat!

Preheat the oven for 20-30 minutes 200ºC Gas 6/7, as a general guide cook for 15/20 minutes per 500g or perpound (lb). The shorter the cooking time the better provide the bird is cooked with en internal temp of 77ºC.

a 3 kg 6 lb bird takes about 1 hour 40 minutes

a 4.5 kg 9lb bird takes about 2 hours

a 6kg 12lb bird takes about 2 hours 30 minutes

a 8kg 16lb bird takes about 3 hours.

Make sure its cooked through but do not overcook.

Baste regularly

Wash and dry the bird well including the cavity prior to roasting

Choose a good Turkey if possible fresh Turkey is best - safer and better flavoured. Free range and bronze Turkeys have a good flavour. Hen birds are less coarse.


Use giblets to make stock for gravy, but not the liver, this can be incorporated into the stuffing