When you’re relying on turkey to form the main part of your special roast, you’ll want to know where to buy the best from, and how to store and prepare it so that it can wow everyone at your table. In this article, we’ll be sharing the benefits of buying a fresh turkey, where to buy one from, how to store it, and how to cook it.

What are the benefits of buying a fresh turkey?

Smoother texture

Smoother meat texture can be achieved by option for a fresh turkey, particularly when you cook breast side down, so the fleshiest part gets the moisture during cooking.

Moister meat

Both the white and dark meat on fresh turkeys tends to be more moist in general, meaning a better overall experience when it comes to eating it. Nobody wants dry turkey!

Better flavour

Because of this moister meat, you tend to get more flavour from fresh turkeys once they’ve been cooked.

Quicker to prepare

With no need to thaw, you can season and cook your turkey immediately.

Where can I buy a fresh turkey in the UK?

When seeking out the perfect fresh turkey, you should look for family-run farms where turkeys are free range, and grow up in a habitat as close to their natural one as possible. You also want assurance from the farmer that turkeys have been fed a cereal-based diet, as opposed to unnatural growth enhancers.

What size fresh turkey should I buy for my number of guests?

Our serving guide for fresh turkeys is as follows:

  • 4 – 6 people: 4.0 kg
  • 6 – 8 people: 5.0 kg
  • 8 -10 people: 6.0 kg
  • 10-12 people: 7.0 kg
  • 12-14 people: 8.0 kg
  • 14-16 people: 9.0 kg
  • 16-18 people: 10.0 kg
  • 18-20 people: 11.0 kg
  • 20-22 people: 12.0 kg

What’s the best way to prepare a fresh turkey for cooking?

Firstly, you should bring the turkey to room temperature by removing it from the fridge 2 hours before cooking. If the turkey that you have purchased is trussed, it is best to remove the string before you cook it.

Instead of stuffing the main cavity (this stops the turkey cooking properly), you can place an apple or peeled onion in the cavity. You should also place the giblets around the bird if you want a tasty gravy, and place the turkey breast side down in the roasting tin. For turkey crowns, keep them breast side up.

What temperature should a fresh turkey be cooked to?

Cook your turkey to 180ºc (160º fan), or gas 4/5. You should cook your turkey in accordance with its weight, which will vary depending on the size you’ve purchased. Don’t forget to turn your turkey after one hour of cooking, and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, uncovered, before carving.

Why buy fresh turkeys from John Howe?

When you opt for a fresh turkey from John Howe, you can be assured that the bird you’ve purchased will be the star of the show when it comes to your meal. Raised free-range in a pleasant environment, our turkeys are given the very best start, so that you can enjoy a truly quality product. Shop for turkeys online with us today.

Contact Us