How to cook a turkey in an ideal and healthy way?


How to cook a turkey in an ideal and healthy way?

Make the perfect turkey with our tips on defrost and cook poultry safely, and how to store leftovers. Take advantage of its health values:

How to cook a turkey in an ideal and healthy way?

Defrost the turkey

If you're buying a frozen turkey, make sure the turkey has been properly thawed before you cook it. If it is still partially frozen, it may not be fully cooked, which means that harmful bacteria may survive the cooking process.

Defrosting should be done in the refrigerator if possible (or in a cool place) separated from touching other foods, in a container large enough to collect the frozen juices. This is important to stop cross-contamination.

Defrost Menu

  •  Thaw in advance, so you know how much time to allow - a large turkey can take at least two days to thaw.
  • When defrosting begins, remove the turkey from its casing, place it on a large plate, and cover. The dish will collect the liquid that comes out of the turkey as it thaws.
  • Remove the giblets and neck as soon as possible to speed up the thawing process. Wash your hands well after handling raw turkey, giblets, or any other raw meat.
  • Make sure there are no ice crystals in the cavity before cooking. Test the thicker parts of the turkey with a fork to see if the meat is still frozen.
  • It's best to thaw a turkey (and any other poultry) in a covered dish in the bottom of the refrigerator so it doesn't drip onto other foods.
  • Discard the defrosting turkey regularly so it doesn't overflow and spread bacteria. Take care not to splash the liquid on work surfaces, dishes, clothing, or other food items.
  • Be mindful of other foods you have stored in the refrigerator. Cooked meat should be covered and stored at a higher level.
  • If the bird is too large for the refrigerator, keep it out of reach of animals and children so that it does not touch other foods. A cool room shed or garage is all good places.
  • If you're not using the refrigerator, watch out for sudden changes in room temperature, as they may prevent the turkey from thawing completely.

defrosting times

To know how long to defrost a turkey, check the wrapper for any directions first. If there are no defrosting instructions, use the following times to work out the approximate time it will take your turkey to defrost.

  • In a refrigerator at 4°C (39°F), leave it for about 10-12 hours per kilogram, but remember that not all refrigerators will be at this temperature.
  • In a cool room (below 17.5 C, 64 F), leave it for about 3-4 hours per kilogram, or longer if the room is particularly cold.
  • At room temperature (about 20°C, 68°F) let sit for about 2 hours per kilogram.

When the turkey is completely defrosted, put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. If this is not possible, be sure to cook it immediately.


Preparing the turkey

Keep uncooked turkey away from ready-to-serve food. If raw poultry or other raw meat touches or drips on these foods, the bacteria will spread and possibly cause food poisoning.

Bacteria can spread from raw meat and poultry to work surfaces, cutting boards, dishes, and utensils. To keep your Christmas food safe, remember the following things:

  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap, and dry them well, after touching raw poultry or other raw meat.
  • There is no need to wash the turkey before cooking it. If you wash it, bacteria from raw poultry can spread to work surfaces, dishes, and other foods. Good cooking kills any bacteria.
  • Always clean work surfaces, cutting boards, dishes, and utensils well after touching raw poultry or meat.
  • Never use the same cutting board for raw poultry or meat and ready-to-eat food before washing it thoroughly in warm, soapy water. If possible, use a completely separate cutting board for raw meat and poultry.

 cooking turkey

Plan the cooking time ahead of time to make sure you put the bird in the oven early enough to cook it well. A large turkey can take several hours to cook as it should. Eating undercooked turkey (or other poultry) can cause food poisoning.

Three ways to tell if a turkey is cooked:

  • Hot steam should come out of the meat everywhere
  • There should be no pink meat when cutting the thickest part of the bird
  • The juice should run clear when you prick the turkey or press on the thigh

If you are using a thermometer or food thermometer, make sure the thickest part of the bird (between the breast and thigh) is at least 70°C for two minutes.


Turkey cooking time

The cooking times below are based on unstuffed birds. It is best to cook the stuffing in a separate roasting tin, not inside the bird so that cooking is easy and cooking guidelines will be accurate.

If you are cooking the bird with stuffing inside, you should allow extra time for the stuffing to cook and because it cooks slowly.

Some ovens, such as fan ovens, may cook birds very quickly - check the directions on the package and your oven's manufacturer's booklet if you can.

As a general guide, in an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F, Gas Mark 4):

  • Leave it for 45 minutes per kilogram plus 20 minutes for your turkey under 4.5 kilograms
  • Leave it for 40 minutes per kilogram Your turkey weighs between 4.5 kg and 6.5 kg
  • Leave it for 35 minutes for every kg of turkey that weighs more than 6.5 kg

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil while it's cooking, uncovering for the last 30 minutes, until the skin turns brown. To stop the meat from drying out, apply juice every hour while cooking.

Cooking time for other birds

Other birds, such as geese and ducks, need different cooking times and temperatures. The oven should always be hot for ducks and geese to melt the subcutaneous fat.

  • Goose should be cooked in a preheated oven at 200°C/425°F/Jazz Mark 7 for 35 minutes per kg.
  • Ducks should be cooked in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Jazz Mark 6 for 45 minutes per kilogram.
  • Chicken should be cooked in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Jazz Mark 4 for 45 minutes per kilogram plus 20 minutes.

 Storing leftovers

Store cooked meat and poultry in the refrigerator. If left at room temperature, the bacteria that cause food poisoning can grow and multiply.

After eating the turkey, chill any leftovers as soon as possible (within an hour or two), cover, and refrigerate. Ideally, try to consume the leftovers within 48 hours.

When you serve the turkey cold, take out only as much as you intend to use and put the rest back in the fridge. Don't leave a plate of turkey or cold cuts out all day, for example at a buffet.

If you are reheating leftover turkey or other food, always make sure it emits hot fumes before eating it. Do not heat it more than once. Ideally, use up leftovers within 48 hours.