Turkey cooking tips and ideas for leftovers


  • 3kg turkey serves 6–7
  • 4kg turkey serves 8–9
  • 6kg turkey serves 12–13
  • 8kg turkey serves 16–18
  • 10kg turkey serves 20


Turkey Tips

What size to buy:

  • 3kg serves 6–7
  • 4kg serves 8–9
  • 6kg serves 12–13
  • 8kg serves 16–18
  • 10kg serves 20


Turkey cooking times

  • Take the turkey out of the fridge an hour before roasting to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Weigh the turkey after you have stuffed it to work out the cooking time
  • For turkeys up to 8kgs allow 15–20 minutes per ½kg
  • For turkeys over 8kgs allow 10–15 minutes per ½kg
  • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 220°C (450°F). Cover the turkey loosely with tin foil and roast for ¾ hour then reduce the heat to Gas Mark 3, 170°C (325°F). For the last half hour remove the tin foil.
  • To test if the turkey is cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 15 minutes more, then test again. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer. This will eliminate guesswork.
  • When cooked transfer the turkey to a platter, cover with foil, then a couple of tea towels, and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. This will make the turkey easier to carve and it also gives you a chance to turn up the heat on the oven and finish the ham and roast potatoes.


Quick Guide to Cooking Times

These times work for full turkeys, turkey crowns and other turkey joints

Approximate Weight - Cooking Time

  • 2kgs - 1hr 10 mins
  • 4kgs - 2hr 20 mins
  • 6kgs - 3hr 30 mins
  • 8kgs - 4hr 10 mins
  • 10kgs - 4hr 50 mins

Serving Suggestions

Some quick and delicious ideas for using up leftover turkey and ham:

  • Add to Macaroni and Cheese to make a nutritious and filling supper that all the family will enjoy
  • Chop up and add to scrambled eggs and omelettes
  • Combine with a tin of tomatoes, some garlic and basil for a tasty pasta sauce
  • Cooked ham and/or turkey, spinach, cheese and eggs are a delicious combination for quiches and tarts
  • Use in a salad with chopped tomatoes, sliced avocado, mixed leaves and a blue cheese dressing
  • Toast some bread and top with sliced ham, roasted peppers, a few sprigs of thyme and a slice of cheese. Pop under the grill until the cheese is bubbling. Delicious!
  • Team up with a fruity chutney or stuffing to make sandwiches on St. Stephens Day
  • The turkey carcase and ham bone will make wonderful stock for soup.