Cooking the Turkey

How to calculate turkey cooking times:

Working out how long to cook a turkey all depends on the weight of your bird.
  • If your turkey weighs more than 4kg (around 9lb)
Calculate 20 minutes per kg, plus 90 minutes to finish.
  • If your turkey weighs less than 4kg
Calculate 20 minutes per kg, plus 70 minutes to finish.
To help you on your way, here’s what might just be the most foolproof turkey recipe ever. It’s nice and simple, and the results are great.

How to cook the turkey:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (Gas Mrk 4)
  2. Place the turkey in a roasting tin (or dish), remove the string from the legs and open them out.
  3. Dot the softened butter over the turkey. Season with as much salt and freshly ground pepper as you like.
  4. Cover the bird (loosely) with a sheet or foil and seal is around the sides of the tin (this will help to keep the turkey moist).
  5. Calculate the cooking time (see the ‘How to calculate cooking time for a turkey’ section above).
  6. Baste the turkey with the buttery juices every hour or so using a baster (or a spoon) to keep it from drying out.
  7. Remove the foil for the final half hour of cooking time (don’t bin it – you’ll need it again later).
  8. Test to see if the juices run clear by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If they’re still running pink then pop the turkey back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes and check again.
  9. Take out of the oven and pop the foil back on.
  10. Rest for at least half an hour (or an hour if you can) to allow the meat to relax and tenderise.
  11. Carve and serve – Enjoy your Christmas lunch is ready!
Cooking instructions by Will Godfrey