Turkey Preparation & Cooking

The key to a succulent turkey is keeping the meat moist. There are many ways to achieve this. In this method we are going to use brining.
Canter Valley Published On 2021-02-04


Put approx 4 liters of water in a large stock pot and add herbs (your choice) and peppercorns. You might like to add orange peels, dried fruit and whiskey for a Scottish finish. Boil this and then allow to cool. No longer than
24 hours before cooking put your thawed turkey in a large oven bag inside a clean bucket (to support the oven bag and contents) and pour the brine into the bag over the turkey until covered. Tie the bag off. Leave in your fridge until you are ready for cooking.


Remove the turkey from the brine and drain. The turkey has two cavities for stuffing, the neck cavity and the body. Before stuffing, rinse or wipe out the neck and body cavities very well and pat the whole bird dry. The easiest stuffing is torn-up good quality bread seasoned with salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil and dried cranberries. This soaks up the turkey juices giving it a really tasty result. There are many wonderful stuffing recipes or you may have your own. Don't over pack the stuffing, as it will expand when cooking.


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius for a conventional oven and 160 for fan oven.

Cooking times depend on your oven but a general rule is 35 minutes per kilo of Turkey. Test by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the leg or breast, the internal juices should run clear and not pink when the turkey is fully cooked.


Turning the bird during cooking helps keep the breast meat moist because as the juices start flowing they are absorbed back into the meat.

Start with the turkey lying breast up in a well-lined and greased baking dish (so the skin doesn't stick and remains intact). Cook for a quarter of the cooking time, turn to the other side and cook for a further quarter and finally turn it breast side up again, baste well and finish cooking.


Basting helps keep plenty of fatty juice over the breast and leg meat and needs to be done about every thirty minutes. You can baste with the pan juices or you might want to try brushing over a baste like honey and soy sauce or a favorite of ours pad thai sauce and sesame oil.

You can make gravy from the pan juices after cooking has finished.


Cooking on the BBQ rotisserie works effectively in keeping the meat moist. The juices are retained as the turkey turns on the BBQ during cooking.

Resting post cooking

After removing the turkey from the oven cover it with tin foil and rest it for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Turkey Preparation & Cooking
Canter Valley Published On 2021-02-04