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Christmas Dinner – The Main Event – Cooking the Turkey

Cooking the turkey for Christmas Dinner can be really stressful!  87 per cent of people in the UK believe Christmas would not be Christmas CircoTherm without the traditional roast turkey at the table. This can be a much easier process with the help of a CircoTherm Oven. We have some great tips and advice that should make cooking that perfect turkey that little bit easier. Take care choosing your turkey Always purchase from a trusted source, somewhere that will be able to tell you where it came from and how it was reared. This will provide you evidence that the turkey was treated well when it was alive and this produces better quality meat. Organic turkey is expensive but the producer will have followed very strict farming standards throughout the turkey’s life. Look for the Soil Association label if you prefer organic. Free-range turkeys will have had some access to the open air and are usually cheaper than organic. Look for the Freedom Food label used by producers that meet the RSPCA's welfare standards. Battery reared turkey are the most common and their low price is the give away.

Storing your turkey

As soon as you get home put your fresh turkey in the fridge. Remove all the wrappings, and then wipe it inside and outside with kitchen paper. Giblets be removed and kept in a covered bowl in the fridge for later use if required. Ensure the turkey is on a tray wide and deep enough to collect any seepage. Cover loosely with foil. If you are using a frozen turkey once it has defrosted store as above. Turkeys will normally keep fresh in the fridge for two days.

Preparing your turkey

Before cooking your turkey it should be at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge for at least an hour before cooking. Keep it covered in a cool place. Cover your giblets with water and add a peeled onion, carrot, celery stick, bay leaf and a glass of red wine. Simmer for 40 mins, strain and you'll have the perfect stock to deglaze your turkey roasting tin. Remove the wishbone from your turkey this makes it easier to carve later, giving you lovely neat slices. Pull the neck skin back and find the wishbone. Cut through the flesh under the contour of the bone on both sides just deep enough to free it and remove.

How long to cook a turkey

The latest advice from the British Turkey information service is that; if the turkey is over 4kg, calculate 20 mins per kg, plus 90 mins. If the bird is under 4kg, calculate 20 mins per kg, plus 70 mins. To test if it's done, make sure the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh where it meets the body. If not, put it back in the oven for another 20 mins, then test again.

Cooking your turkey

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Smear butter all over the turkey and season with salt and pepper.
  3. For timing, always weigh your turkey after stuffing. You may need to use bathroom scales if it’s a really big bird.
  4. Put in a roasting tin, breast side up, and roast for 40 mins per kilo for the first 4 kilos then 45 mins for every kilo over that weight.
  5. Remove the turkey from the oven and rest in a warm place for 30-45 mins, this step is really important as the juices won’t be reabsorbed back into the turkey and will run out if you carve it straightaway. Don’t cover the turkey too tightly if you want the skin to stay crisp but keep it warm.
  6. Before serving your turkey, check that the meat is steaming hot throughout, there is no pink meat visible and when you cut into the thickest part of the meat, the juices run clear.
  7. Bon appetite – serve with all the trimmings and your loved ones.
A vario steam oven is a fantastic product that keeps food extremely moist a great example can be seen on the following link https://www.neff-home.com/uk/productlist/ovens-compact-ovens/ovens/single-ovens/B57VR22N0B These ovens offer: -
  • Slide &Hide - unrestricted access in the oven interior and easy handling due to rotating handle
  • CircoTherm - the unique hot air-system for simultaneous baking and roasting on up to 3 levels
  • Vario Steam- Steam assistance for CircoTherm ovens, that cooks foods moist on the inside and crisp on the outside
  • Dual cleaning options
  • Pyrolytic following heavy use - just let the oven interior clean itself.