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Phil's Perfect Turkey

Christmas treeVery Merry Phil

 

At this time of year I always get lots of questions from people worrying about their turkey, so, here are a few of my top tips to help you relax and have a stress free Christmas.

 

 

What size turkey do I need?

What size turkey do I need?

Allow 500g / 1lb of meat on the bone for each person, this will give you enough for a meal with some left over.

6-8 people: 4kg (8lbs 13oz) turkey
10 people:  5kg (11lbs) turkey 
12 people:  6kg (13lbs 4oz) turkey

Make sure you have a roasting tray big enough for your bird and that it will fit in your oven. 

How long to defrost a frozen turkey?

How long to defrost a frozen turkey?

At a cool room temperature (no more than 17.5°C), it will take about 2 hours for every 450g / 16oz.

Visit the British Turkey website and click on the cooking link to find its Defrosting Calculator, which will do the maths for you.

Go to the British Turkey Cooking Times Calculator

How do I calculate the cooking time?

How do I calculate the cooking time?

My method is different from traditional methods and has a unique set of steps for preparation and cooking. If you follow these simple steps closely you will get a perfectly cooked succulent turkey in just a couple of hours.

Stuffed Turkey Cooking Times

Stuffed Turkey Cooking Times

Weight Kg (lbs) Steam for Brown for Resting Time
to 1kg (2lbs) 45-50 mins 20 mins 1 hr
1 to 3kg (2 to 6½lbs) 1 hr 15-30 mins 20 mins 1 hr
3 to 4kg (6½ to 9lbs) 1 hr 30 mins
maybe slightly more
20 mins 1 hr
4 to 5kg (9 to 11lbs) 2 hrs
possibly 15 mins more
20 mins 1 hr
5 to 7.5kg (11 to 16½lbs) 2 hrs 30 mins
possibly 15 mins more
20-30 mins 1 hr
7.5 to 10kg (16½ to 22lbs) 3 hrs 15 mins
possibly 15 mins more
20-30 mins 1 hr
10 to 15kg (22 to 33lbs) 3 hrs 45 mins
possibly 15 mins more
20-30 mins 1 hr
Turkey Crown Cooking Times

Turkey Crown Cooking Times

Weight KG (lbs) Steam for Brown for Resting Time
to 1kg (2lbs) 45-50 mins 20 mins 1 hr
1 to 3kg (2 to 6½lbs) 1 hr 15 mins
maybe slightly more
20 mins 1 hr
3 to 4kg (6½ to 9lbs) 1 hr 30 mins
maybe slightly more
20 mins 1 hr
4 to 6kg (9 to 13lbs) 2 hrs
possibly 15 mins more
20 mins 1 hr

These times are approximate, so be aware.

Or for a traditonal recipe you can visit the British turkey website and click on the cooking link to reveal the Roasting Calculator. Key in the weight of your bird (after stuffing it), and it will give you an approximate cooking time – it’s just a guide because all ovens vary so keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

Do I need to rest the Turkey?

Do I need to rest the Turkey?

Absolutely YES, resting time is the real key to a succulent Turkey; it allows the meat to relax making it tender and juicy, and to finish cooking. I have found 1 hour is the ideal length of time to rest if you wrap it in foil and importantly it frees up your oven to cook everything else.

Phil's Perfect Roast Turkey Method

My turkey roasting method should not be confused with traditional turkey recipes. My method will ensure a juicy well cooked turkey in just a couple of hours depending on the size. But you need to follow the instructions carefully. Click on the full recipe below for the exact details.

  • For my method the oven needs to be set to Gas 6 / 400 °F / 200 °C / 180 °C Fan
  • The tray needs to be filled with the right amount of liquid and brought to a rapid boil.
  • Once REALLY well sealed with foil (very important) the tray needs to boil rapidly for 5 minutes, before transferring to the preheated oven.
  • Ovens vary so much, heat control, thermostats, fan assisted etc. so keep an eye on the cooking. I can only give you information based on my oven and experience, so be prepared for fluctuations in cooking and timings. But to the best of my ability I will be as precise as possible.

Tags: Christmas , Phil Vickery, Perfect Turkey

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