Your ultimate Christmas turkey guide: turkey cooking times, sizes and recipes

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  • A lovely big roast turkey is the traditional centre piece to most Christmas dinners – so there’s a lot of pressure to get it just right. We’ve gathered together all the essential information to give you the ultimate Christmas turkey guide. Find out which turkey to buy for your family, how to cook it and how to avoid the dreaded dry meat.

    What turkey to buy

    Four weeks before Christmas is the perfect time to start thinking about your turkey. See our guide for where to get the cheapest Christmas turkey this year. You can order one from your butcher or buy a frozen one. If you’re ordering a large turkey, make sure you measure your oven first to make sure it’ll fit. You don’t want to get a nasty surprise on Christmas morning!

    So what size turkey do you need?

    Size of turkey – Portions

    • 2kg: 4-5 people
    • 2.5kg: 5-6 people
    • 3kg: 6-7 people
    • 3.5kg: 7-8 people
    • 4kg: 8-9 people
    • 4.5kg: 9-10 people
    • 5kg: 10-11 people
    • 5.5kg: 11-12 people
    • 6kg: 12-13 people
    • 6.5k: 14-15 people
    • 7kg: 15-16 people
    • 7.5kg: 16-17 people

    How long to cook your turkey

    Our Christmas turkey timer will tell your how need to defrost and cook your turkey for (you can also use it for chicken, goose or duck). Just enter in the weight of your chosen bird. 

    How to cook a turkey 

    You only really cook turkey once a year and it’s a little bit trickier than your standard roast chicken. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide for how to cook a turkey.

    Get our how to cook a turkey step-by-step guide

    Give your turkey a tasty twist

    Turkey has the reputation of being quite a flavourless meat but it doesn’t have to be! Our delicious Christmas turkey recipes all have lots of lovely flavours added to them.

    Try one of our delicious Christmas turkey recipes

    How to carve a turkey

    You’ve spent all that time cooking it so you want to make sure it looks just as lovely cut up as it does whole. It can be tricky to carve the perfect portions of turkey so follow our step-by-step guide.

    Take a look at our how to carve a turkey guide


    What to do with leftover turkey

    There will undoubtedly be some leftover meat and you don’t need to throw it away. There are so many things you can do with leftover turkey – just take a look at our delicious ideas.

    See our ideas for using up leftover turkey

    Don’t fancy turkey? We have lots more Christmas dinner ideas right here.