Turkey Tips

All you need to know for the perfect Christmas Turkey! Thawing through to Preparation and carving.

Saskia Beers Tips for the perfect Christmas Turkey

Thaw safely

If buying a frozen turkey, allow 1 day per 2 kg to thaw in the refrigerator. Place in a tray in its original packaging on the lowest shelf to avoid cross-contaminating other foods. This is the safest method, you should never defrost at room temperature, or under running water or in a sink of water – dangerous bacteria that cause food poisoning grow rapidly in warm temperatures. Once thawed, it can be kept in the refrigerator 1 additional day before roasting.

  • 3 kg turkey, thaw in fridge for 1.5 days

  • 4 kg turkey serves 10, thaw in fridge for 2 days

  • 5 kg turkey serves 12-13, thaw in fridge for 2.5 days

  • 6 kg turkey serves 15, thaw in fridge for 3 days


Rinse inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

For a super moist turkey is place softened butter (see below) under the skin on the breast to keep the meat moist.

Allow the turkey to come to room temperature before you roast it – this will take about 1 hour.

When you first remove it from the refrigerator, this is a good time to loosen the skin on the breast. Use the back of a dessertspoon to ease between the skin and the breast meat to release the skin from the flesh, but take care not to split the skin.

To brine or not to brine?

Personally I do not brine our turkeys – but some people like to do this to “season from the inside”.

To brine a 4 -7 kg turkey, bring 1 ¼ cup sea salt, 1 1/4 cup sugar, 3 bay leaves, half bunch thyme, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns and 8 litres of water to the boil in a large stockpot. Boil for 5 minutes, cool to room temperature, transfer to a large, deep non-reactive container (big enough to fit your turkey) and refrigerate until chilled completely.

Submerge the turkey and refrigerate for 24 hours. Before roasting, remove the bird from the brine, then rinse and pat dry, inside and out, with paper towel.

Allow the turkey to come to room temperature before you roast it – this will take about 1 hour.

Get flavour into your bird: