How long should you cook your turkey … Christmas kitchen helper

Knowing how long your oven will be tied up is important in your planning for Christmas Day.

Turkeys are much larger than your ordinary everyday chook and it’s a little daunting to calculate cooking times.  Nobody wants an underdone turkey on Christmas Day, or indeed a dry, tough overcooked one.

The rule of thumb:

  • Allow 40 minutes per kg for the first 4kg.
  • If your turkey weighs more than 4kg, allow 45 minutes for every kg after that.

So a 5kg turkey will take 40 minutes x 4, plus 45 minutes, total 205 minutes or about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

If you have a meat thermometer, take a temperature reading about an hour before the end of your calculated cook time, to ensure that it is not overcooking and drying out.

To test if it’s done, make sure the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh where is meets the body, or a meat thermometer reaches 65C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast, or 70C in the thickest part of the thigh.



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