Make sure you have an oven and roasting tin that are big enough for your bird, with room for all the fat and cooking juices.
Use the weight of your bird to get your timings right, leaving plenty of time for your turkey to rest when it comes out of the oven.
If you are stuffing your bird, you need to include the weight of stuffing into your calculations. We recommend just stuffing the neck cavity, restricting the body cavity to a few aromatics such as a halved onion and a few sprigs of thyme or sage. It’s best to let it rest for an hour at least, but a large bird could easily rest for an hour and a half, leaving plenty of time to get on with roasting the potatoes.
We include a handy pop-out timer with every turkey. Insert your timer at a point approximately 3cm to the right or left of the front tip of the breastbone. The timer should not touch any bone. The timer and cooking times below are for guidance only, as all ovens vary.
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for at least 20 minutes.
4-5kg – cook 2¼ to 2½ hours
5-6kg – cook 2½ to 3 hours
6-7kg – cook 3 hours to 3½ hours
7-8kg – cook 3½ to 4 hours
8-9kg – cook 4 to 4¼ hours
Get your turkey out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you cook it; a stone-cold bird will take longer to cook.
Place some vegetables (onions, carrots etc.) in the roasting tray under the bird to enrich the turkey juices for fantastic gravy. There is no need to use foil, but it can help to roast the bird breast side down at first, turning it over for the final hour to get the turkey nicely browned.
Roast your bird for the calculated time, or until the pop-out timer pops. if using a digital thermometer, we recommend cooking to an internal temperature of 65ºC, as the bird will continue to cook after removing from the oven. To be completely safe, check that the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh with a skewer. Do not overcook your turkey; it should be moist and succulent.
Once cooked, lift the turkey out of the tray and rest on a carving board, covered loosely with foil, for at least an hour while you get on with the finishing touches to the rest of your meal.