Top tips to cooking the perfect Christmas turkey

Top tips to cooking the perfect Christmas turkey
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Step 1
If you've had your turkey in the freezer for a few days, make sure you thoroughly defrost it using the defrosting instructions on the packaging.

Step 2
Pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. If you've got a fan assisted ovens your cooking times might be a bit lower. Remember to give your hands a good wash both before and after you handle your raw poultry and make sure all your work surfaces are cleaned down.

Step 3
If your turkey is unbasted or you're using a turkey crown, then brush the skin with melted butter or oil. But if you're turkey is already basted it's already ready to go so no need to butter or oil it when you're cooking it.

Step 4
It's a good idea to cook your stuffing separately to your meat but if you prefer to do this, make sure you stuff the neck end only. For every 500g of stuffing you use, you want to increase the total cooking time by 10 minutes.

Step 5
Pop your turkey in a roasting tin and loosely cover the whole bird with foil. Then roast in a preheated oven following the guidelines on the packaging or work it out from the weight using this calculator.

Step 6
Remove the foil for the final 1 hour 30 minutes of cooking and allow the skin to go all lovely and golden and crispy.

Step 7
Just before the cooking time is up, warm up the serving dish you will be placing your turkey on.

Step 8
To make sure your turkey is completely cooked, insert a clean skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. When it's cooked, the juices should run clear. If it's pinkish, return to the oven and cook for that little bit longer.  

Step 9
Once you're happy your turkey is completely cooked, carefully transfer it to your warm serving dish, cover it with foil and allow the turkey to stand for 30 minutes to rest before carving. This allows time for the juices to come to the surface, making the meat moist and succulent (and so lots more tasty to tuck into!).

Step 10
If you have any oil or grease left in the pan after you've finished cooking your turkey, don't pour this don't the sink and it can lead to bad smells and blockages in your sink pipes (which nobody wants at Christmas!)

The best way to get rid of oil and grease is to leave it to cool, scrape it into a sealable container and then either take this to a household waste-recycling centre or bin it.

Tips from www.bernardmatthews.com.

There's more food ideas and advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.