Cooking a Turkey.

It is that time of year when perfectly sensible people, who cook Sunday lunch all year round, suddenly begin to panic about cooking a turkey. The idea is that you should shove it in the oven and enjoy your Christmas as much as your guests. So while this isn’t strictly a recipe, it might go some way to helping you get a less stressful Christmas. Usual rules apply, a frozen turkey should be thoroughly defrosted, and check it is fully cooked before serving. I don’t stuff the neck or cavity of the bird, this only adds to cooking time and sometimes better results come from making the stuffing separately. Don’t forget the roast potatoes, cabbage or the red wine sauce, and those quick sausage rolls.

Cooking Times

1.9kg to 5.5kg 20 minutes per kg plus 90mins

5.6kg to 8.2kg 20 minutes per kg plus 100mins


  1. Get the turkey out of the fridge two hours before you plan on putting it in the oven. It comes up to room temperature and cooks evenly.
  2. Butter the turkey all  over the skin and between the skin and meat.
  3. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180c or 160c Fan.
  4. Chop some onion, carrot and celery and put this in the roasting tin with the turkey on top, cover with lose foil then put it all in the middle of the oven for the cooking time.
  5. Keep basting the bird with the juices that run out.
  6. Remove the foil for the last thirty minutes of cooking so it gets a nice brown finish.

About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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