How to cook a turkey
Try our handy cooking calculator
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Want to know the cooking time for your turkey to ensure the best (and safest) results?
This year it's quick and simple. Just enter the weight of your turkey in the calculator, and it will calculate the correct cooking time to ensure your turkey is cooked to perfection.
Enter the weight of the turkey in kilograms.
You will find this information on the label.
Cooking instructions for the online calculator and SMS service cooking times
Our calculated turkey cookings times are for use in electric fan assisted ovens only. See below for guidance on cooking turkeys using other oven types.
The turkey calculator and SMS service cooking times are based on the following cooking advice:
- Preheat your oven to 180°C
- Place the bird breast up on a roasting tray
- If you’re stuffing the turkey, loosely pack the stuffing in the cavity
- The amount of stuffing used should weigh no more then 10% of the weight of the unstuffed bird
- Rub the turkey with 10g of butter and season with some salt and pepper, prior to cooking
- Cover the turkey with foil and baste it every hour
- Keep the oven door closed as much as possible to keep it at the right temperature
- Remove the foil for the last half hour to brown the skin
- For the tastiest and juiciest turkey, allow the bird to rest for half an hour before carving. Cover the bird with foil during this period
- Prior to serving, ensure your turkey is properly cooked – it should be piping hot all the way through with no pink meat left and the juices should run clear when the thickest part of the thigh and breast are pierced with a clean fork or skewer
- If you are cooking a stuffed turkey, the centre of the stuffing should also be piping hot as this is the slowest part of a stuffed bird to cook
Cooking your turkey with other types of ovens
Please note that the cooking advice on our online calculator and SMS service is based on cooking your turkey in an electric fan assisted oven only. It is essential that you carefully follow these cooking times and directions to ensure a safe and delicious turkey. This is because our research showed that electric fan assisted ovens are typically more efficient at cooking turkeys than other types of oven, such as gas ovens. This has allowed safe cooking conditions for stuffed turkeys to be defined. Using these cooking times with other types of ovens (e.g. gas ovens, conventional ovens) may not result in your turkey being fully cooked.
If you do not have a fan assisted oven then we recommend that you do not stuff your turkey. With these other ovens, the safest way to cook your stuffing is on a roasting dish or tray separate from the turkey. Our research showed that stuffed turkeys cook differently in other types of ovens and may not be fully cooked and safe if cooking advice for fan assisted ovens is used.
Advice for cooking unstuffed turkeys in conventional and gas ovens
|Weight of turkey||Cooking time
(Preheated oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4)
|3.5 - 5.5 kg||3 hours - 4 hours 20 minutes|
|5.5 - 6.5 kg||4 hours 20 minutes - 5 hours|
|6.5 - 8 kg||5 hours - 6 hours 20 minutes|
|8 - 9 kg||6 hours 20 minutes - 7 hours|
|9 - 11 kg||7 hours - 8 hours 20 minutes|
As with cooking any poultry, always double check that the turkey is properly cooked before serving. Your turkey should be piping hot all the way through with no pink meat left and the juices should run clear when the thickest part of the thigh and breast are pierced with a clean fork or skewer.