Cooking The Perfect Christmas Turkey

Families all over the UK will be enjoying a delicious, hot, perfectly-cooked turkey dinner this Christmas. Simply follow the simple guide on how to cook your Christmas turkey and you can taste this beautiful bird without the normal dry, tasteless, overcooked tradition of the British Christmas.

A bad workman will always blame his tools. Ensure that before the day your kitchen is equipped with everything you need to prepare, cook and dish up the Christmas turkey. Oven size should not be overlooked, so ensure that your cooker is big enough to cope with the size of the bird you are looking to buy. Don't attempt to feed the 5000 if you only have enough room for a small chicken.

Once you have ensured you have enough space, gather together the utensils that you need to complete the job. Don't forget to get a roasting tray, with a wire rack to ensure that the turkey is kept above the juices while it cooks. You must also ensure, as with the oven, that the turkey fits in the tray, and the tray fits in the oven.

Utensils that you will need to prepare, cook and carve the turkey include carving set, baster, foil and a thermometer (this may be included when buying the bird). These four basic implements will ensure that you get the best results when cooking, carving and then keeping the turkey for use in sandwiches and as cold cuts in the evening and on boxing day.

Once you have acquired all of the equipment that you need, it is time to choose a turkey. Don't just buy the cheapest one as this will inevitably reduce the pleasure of eating a bird that you have put so much effort into cooking. Pick the best one you can buy, and try to get a fresh one as close to Christmas Day as possible. You will understand why the moment you take a bite as it will be succulent and moist, the perfect turkey.

Cooking for Christmas starts before the day so ensure you turkey is removed from the fridge well in advance. Ideally, do this on Christmas Eve so that the bird is at room temperature for when you start cooking. This will ensure the bird cooks properly and the cooking guidelines are not compromised.

If you wish to stuff the turkey, ensure this is done in advance and you have all of the ingredients to do so. Read the instructions before the day as you may need to add an egg, and this will infuriate you when you realise you had them all for breakfast.

Calculate the time that you expect to eat and then prepare all of your meal's ingredients accordingly. This includes potatoes, vegetables, gravy and any other dishes that will accompany the turkey. It is best that you allow the turkey plenty of time extra to ensure you don't undercook the bird. This is the most important thing to remember, as an undercooked turkey will ruin everything. If it's cooked early, cover in foil but allow a little space for basting.

While the bird is cooking, use the baster every fifteen minutes to cover the skin with the juices that gather in the tray. This will ensure the skin cooks beautifully and crisps up, also providing the picture-perfect golden brown colour that every chef strives for. To cook the turkey, follow the heat and timing instructions as the weight demands.

Turkeys will take from anywhere between 3 hours to six hours depending on their size and the strength of the oven. Take all of the variables into consideration and ensure you set the right temperature and place the turkey in the correct part of the oven. Details are extremely important and misreading or ignoring them will affect the cooking times.

Once the turkey is cooked, use the thermometer to check the turkey is hot enough. You can also insert a knife into the thigh of the turkey, if the juices show any sign of pink then put back into the oven and try again in twenty minutes. Remove from the oven when the juices run clear and let the turkey rest before serving.

Use the juices to make your gravy, and any extra time to perfect your roast potatoes and other vegetable dishes. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and allow yourself this precious time to ensure all parts of the dish come together at the same time. This will enable you to serve every part of the meal in perfect condition. Enjoy your perfect Christmas dinner and enjoy even more the compliments that you receive for your perfect turkey.

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About The Author, Enrico
Patrick is an expert Research and Travel consultant. His current interest is in Manchester airport parking, Stansted parking and Luton airport hotels.