Techniques for Roasting and Carving Turkey

Techniques for Roasting and Carving Turkey

Times for Roasting Turkey:

When choosing a turkey for Christmas, you should allow about 450g / 1lb of dressed (plucked and oven-ready) bird per head. A good estimate of the size of turkey to buy for Christmas is 4.5kg / 10lb. This will serve about 12 people, with leftovers for the following day.

Oven-Ready Weight

Thawing Time

Number of Servings

Cooking Time

3.5kg / 8lb

18 hours

8-10 people

2.5 - 3.5 hours

4.5kg / 10lb

19 hours

12-14 people

3.5 - 4 hours

5.5kg / 12lb

20 hours

16-18 people

3.5 - 4.5 hours

6.3kg / 14lb

24 hours

18-20 people

4 -5 hours

These times apply to turkey weighted after stuffing and at room temperature. Cook in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F / Gas 4, covered with butter and bacon rashers and loosely covered with foil. To test whether the turkey is fully cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and press the flesh: the juices should run clear and free from any blood. If not, cook for a little longer and test again.

Carving a Turkey:

- Remove the leg, cutting between the bones at the joint. Cut the leg in two through the joint and carve into slices. Remove the wing, cutting through the joint as for the leg.

- Carve the breast in thin slices, starting at the front. Then carve slices from the back of the breast. Continue to carve, alternating the direction of carving in this way.

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