7 easy Christmas turkey tips for beginners - size, stuffing, gravy and more
Tackling a Christmas dinner can be pretty daunting if you've never done it before. For years, you've had someone else do it for you, but suddenly you're in charge.
How big should the turkey be? How long does it need to be in the oven? Where the heck do I stuff the thing? And what about gravy?! It's a minefield!
Well, we're here to help you out with a few handy tips, in case you're having to plan it all for the first time.
And once you've got it all sorted, don't forget to invite someone along who might not have anyone to share their meal with - visit the Bisto Together Project for more info.
1. When do I buy the turkey?
Well, it depends if you're going for frozen or fresh turkey. Frozen turkeys are cheaper, and they can be bought up to six months in advance. Any longer and they will probably lose flavour.
If you're going for fresh, it needs to be purchased as late as possible, which usually means booking it with your local supermarket or butchers, so that you can pick it up in the days leading up to December 25.
Ideally, it needs to be cooked within two days of buying. This obviously comes with risks, so don't leave it to the last minute! However, you won't have to worry about the whole thawing process.
2. How do I cook a frozen turkey?
Firstly, make sure you put it in the freezer as soon as you can after first purchasing it.
Do not cook it straight from frozen. You will need to allow a long time for it to be defrosted, around 24 hours for every 4/5 lbs. Also, make sure there are no ice crystals on the turkey before you cook, including inside, as the body should be totally soft. It can be defrosted in the fridge, or by placing it in cold water.
Here are the epic thawing times for frozen turkeys:
- Weight: 2.25kg – Thaw in fridge 27 hrs/Thaw in cool room 9 hrs
- Weight: 3-3.5kg – Thaw in fridge 42 hrs/Thaw in cool room 12-14 hrs
- Weight: 4.5-5.5kg – Thaw in fridge 66 hrs/Thaw in cool room 18-22 hrs
- Weight: 6.75-7.5kg – Thaw in fridge 90 hrs/Thaw in cool room 27-30 hrs
3. What size turkey should I get and how much are they?
4. What is a turkey crown?
5. How do I stuff the turkey?
6. How long should I cook the turkey?
7. Don't forget the gravy
You've done all the hard work - don't let it all fall apart when it comes to the gravy! Fortunately, you can't go wrong with Bisto. They've been bringing people together for the last 100 years, especially with their Bisto Together project, where you can offer a spare chair to someone who might not have anyone to share a meal with.