It’s Christmas time. The time when families across England get ready for their Christmas dinner. A dinner which will usually include turkey. We’ve provided you with some festive turkey tips on how to make sure you have the best turkey possible.
When preparing your turkey from frozen, you should:
- Follow the retailer’s recommended defrosting time. The size of your turkey will determine how long it needs to be defrosted for (a large 11kg turkey can take up to two-days to defrost).
- Defrost your turkey in the fridge if possible or somewhere cool. Cold temperature slows the growth of germs on food and will keep it safe and fresh.
- Cover the turkey while defrosting, leave in the packaging or put it in a container to hold any thawing juices, and place it at the bottom of the fridge to avoid cross-contamination.
- Defrost thoroughly, as otherwise your turkey may not cook evenly and harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process.
- Raw turkey should always be put in the bottom of fridge until ready to use. Leaving on the kitchen counter at room temperature could increase your risk of food poisoning.
- Have you thought about cooking your turkey in advance? This could save you getting stressed on the day and give you more precious time with your family. It also helps save valuable fridge space for other foods. Once your turkey is cooked and cooled you can slice then batch it into portions and store it in the freezer. Freezing it in portions will enable you to take out what you need when you need it, and you can save the remaining turkey in the freezer for a later date, perhaps for a New Year’s Eve buffet! Just remember that meat previously cooked and frozen should only be reheated once.
- If your turkey is frozen and you prefer to roast it on Christmas day, make sure you check the guidance well in advance to defrost it according to its size – a typical large turkey weighing 6-7kg could take three days to fully thaw in the fridge.
- Always defrost your frozen turkey fully before cooking – partially defrosted turkey may not cook evenly – which means that harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process. To avoid cross-contamination always put the turkey into a container large enough to catch the defrosted drips.
- Get the most out of you turkey by using any juices to make a stock and leftovers to make a soup http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/1309
- You can even freeze turkey, other meat and meals cooked from previously cooked and frozen meat. But once defrosted, the pause button is off and you should eat the food within 24 hours. So you can turn your leftover Christmas dinner into a tasty meal for another day.