Take all the stress out of Christmas dinner by cooking my foolproof roast turkey recipe. Deliciously juicy breast meat, crispy skin and absolutely no faff! Read on to discover how to roast the perfect turkey – the stress-free way!!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, British
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 3hours10minutes
Resting Time 30minutes
Total Time 3hours20minutes
Author Eb Gargano
1whole turkey defrosted(timings are given above for a 5kg/11lb turkey. Please refer to the recipe and notes for alternative size turkeys and timings.)
Remove your turkey from the fridge about an hour before you are going to cook it.
Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan/ gas mark 4 / 350F about 15 minutes before you want to start cooking your turkey. It is really important that your oven is at the right temperature before you start.
Next, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the turkey and add a pinch of salt and a good few twists of black pepper. Rub the oil, salt and pepper all over the bird and place, breast side up on a rack in a roasting tray.
Pour 250ml cold water into the base of the roasting tray.
Calculate the roasting time based on 20 mins per kg plus 90 mins. See notes for precise cooking times. This is the TOTAL TIME the turkey will be in the oven for.
Cover the turkey in foil and roast for 1 hour LESS than the total time you have calculated. The foil will help keep the breast meat juicy and stop the skin browning too soon and burning before the meat is cooked.
Wen there is 1 hour remaining of the TOTAL TIME, remove the turkey from the oven and remove the foil. Baste the turkey with the juices you find at the bottom of the tin. Put the turkey back in the oven, uncovered this time, for a further 30 minutes.
After this 30 minutes, turn the oven up to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F, remove the turkey from the oven and baste with the juices. Return the turkey back to the oven for a final 30 minutes. Cooking the turkey at a higher temperature will help the turkey skin to brown and crisp up. This is also the perfect temperature for roast potatoes, meaning you can start them now and they will be ready when the turkey has rested for 30 minutes.
After a final 30 minutes (the turkey will now have cooked for the TOTAL TIME you calculated in step 3), remove the turkey from the oven and check it is done. Stick a small sharp knife in the fattest part of the turkey (between the breast and the thigh), and the juices should run clear and the meat should be white. If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 74C (165F).
Transfer the turkey to a clean roasting tin (or similar). Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes, uncovered. It will not get cold and the meat will taste much better for being rested. Not covering the turkey also ensures the turkey will not lose its crispy skin.