How To Roast The Perfect Christmas Turkey

7 Steps to the perfect Christmas Turkey

Step One. Take the bird out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you put it into the hot oven Remove all packaging, check the cavity and remove the giblets.

Preparing Your Golden Turkey

Step 2. Using a pair of scisors or a sharp knife remove any string or trussing. Don’t forget to remove the accreditation label.


Step 3. Season all over the breast, legs and wings with sea salt and cracked black pepper .

Place in Roasting Tin

Step 4. Place the bird breast side down in the roasting tin, season the back with more sea salt and cracked black pepper, add a peeled and quartered onion, half  a lemon and a cup of water

Ready for the oven

Step 5. Place the bird into the hot oven. Remember you will need to turn the bird after one hour so put on a timer to remind you.

Turning the bird

Step 6. Please don’t ignore this important part of the cooking process. Remove the bird in the tray from the oven, close the oven door. Using a large carving fork or your sharpening steel gently lift the bird from the roasting tin and carefully turn it over onto its back. Return to the oven immediately. 

Remove the bird from the oven

Step 7. Keep a close eye on the cooking time. There is nothing more disappointing than an over cooked Golden Turkey. Once out of the oven, leave to rest for about an hour. Now you are ready to carve. Watch the full video below

How to Roast and Carve The Perfect Christmas Turkey.

Check out our carving video below



Getting The Best From Your Christmas Turkey


Our method should help you roast the perfect Christmas turkey and produce a truly tasty bird with, especially succulent breast meat. Remember that the white (breast) meat of the turkey cooks quicker than the dark (leg) meat and wings, so it is best to cook your turkey breast side down to start with. This should keep the juices in the breast and prevent it from becoming dry. Another tip for even cooking is to loosen the trussing.

How To Roast Your Turkey

These instructions are for the preparation and cooking of  whole birds and crowns

As soon as possible after collecting your Golden Turkey®, remove all packaging and store in a cool place, preferably at the bottom of your fridge. Be mindful of pets, they are quite partial to raw turkey!

  • Where applicable, remove the giblets and keep separately in a cool place.
  • Remove the turkey from the fridge 2 hours before cooking, to allow it to reach room temperature.
  • If your turkey is trussed, it is best to remove the string before cooking.
  • Do not stuff the main cavity, as this will stop the turkey cooking properly. Instead, You might like to place an apple or peeled onion in the cavity.
  • We recommend that you do not use foil as this can prevent you achieving a lovely crispy skin.
  • Place the bird breast side down in the roast tin and season with salt and pepper. For crowns keep the breast up. The oven should be preheated to 180ºc (160º fan) Gas 4/5. For an Aga, use closest to these temperatures. (See table for suggested cooking times). Place the giblets around the bird.
  • Gravy always tastes better if the turkey giblets are used to make it.
  • After an hour of cooking turn the bird carefully on to its back to further cook and brown the breast
  • It is very important not to overcook a turkey – many people do and are then disappointed when it is dry. This can be avoided by either using a ‘pop up’ timer or the meat thermometer that detects when the turkey is cooked, you are looking to achieve a temperature of around 68 degrees pre-resting. Failing that, test with a fork on the inside of the thigh – when the juices run clear the bird is ready.
  • After removing the turkey from the oven and before carving it, allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes. Do not cover. (See carving hints below).

Preparation for Breast Joints: Remove from the fridge 2 hours before. You can spread butter over the roll and season.

Roast at 180º (160º fan). Guideline Cooking Times – as ovens do vary!


Suggested Cooking Times (remember ovens vary greatly)

 48.82 hrs
 5112 – 2.5 hrs
 613.22.25 – 2.5 hrs
 715.42.5 – 2.75 hrs
 817.62.75 – 3 hrs
 919.83 – 3.25 hrs

For Larger birds check every 15 minutes after 3 hrs


Breast Joints

 1kg1 hour
 1.5kg1 hour 15 minutes
 2kg1 hour 30 minutes

Larger Joints: Check it every 15 minutes after 1 ½ hrs.


You will find the following sequence makes for easy carving:


  1. Hold the leg by the end knuckle, cut close to the body and twist off.  Carve this dark leg meat.
  2. Similarly, remove the wing and cut in half.
  3. Slice the breast meat from one side.
  4. Repeat for the other side.

After your Christmas celebration meal, you may find that you have some delicious meat leftover, for a selection of ideas of how to use leftover turkey visit our recipe pages here

Watch celebrity chef Rachel Green carve one of our turkeys perfectly. When you know how it is done properly you can get the maximum amount of meat off your bird. 

Golden Turkey Accreditation

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!