How to make sure your turkey is cooked

Even confident cooks worry about getting the turkey roasting time just right – no need with this advice from the delicious. test kitchen

How to make sure your turkey is cooked
  • Take the turkey out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan to cook. It will cook more evenly from room temperature.
  •  The cooking time depends on the size and type of bird. For a fresh, 5kg free-range bird to feed 6-8 people, plan on 2-2½ hours.
  • The easiest way to ensure the turkey is cooked is to use a digital meat thermometer, available from cook shops or amazon.co.uk. Stick the thermometer into the thickest parts of the breast and leg. If it reads 70°C or over for 2 minutes, the turkey is done (the official line is 72°C but the bird continues to cook for a while out of the oven).
  • A more intuitive way to check is to stick a skewer into the thickest parts of the breast and leg. If the juices run clear with no traces of pink, it’s ready. For cooking an important meal, though, a meat thermometer really is best.
  • Don’t worry if your turkey is cooked long before you’re planning to serve Christmas lunch – it will sit happily (and stay warm) for up to 2 hours, resting on a serving plate loosely covered with foil. In fact, it will taste all the better for this interlude.
  • For ease of cooking and fantastic flavour, choose a quality, fresh, free-range turkey. Birds purchased from KellyBronze and Copas come with meat thermometers or pop-up timers and cooking instructions.

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