Options for cooking the turkey before the rest of the dinner?

(27 Posts)
LittleMoonbuggy Fri 04-Nov-16 17:49:29

I just wondered if it's possible to safely cook the turkey either the day before or in the morning of Christmas day?

Partly because our oven is pretty small, and getting the turkey finished will create space for the other food items that need oven space, and also because I'll feel better knowing that the turkey has already been cooked and is all ready.

Also any suggestions on how best to store it once cooked would be appreciated. Many thanks.

ChickyDuck Fri 04-Nov-16 18:00:13

Definitely cook the turkey first thing. When it is done, wrap it tightly in foil and a load of towels and it will literally stay hot for hours. The long resting period has the added advantage of the meat being super tender and moist, as well as freeing up your oven smile

Millipedewithherfeetup Fri 04-Nov-16 18:08:31

Ive cooked our turkey on xmas eve many many times, cook leave to cool, carve and fridge, all you have to do on xmas day is potatoes and veg etc, its always been absolutely fine, put on a hot plate with gravy and serve, easy, stress free !

123rd Fri 04-Nov-16 18:20:31

We always cook turkey first thing and it rests for a good two hours at least -by the time we faff around doing everything else. As pp said... Cover with foil then at least two clean tea towels. It will keep warm for ages

LittleMoonbuggy Fri 04-Nov-16 19:02:35

Really helpful, many thanks for the replies.

notbothered12 Fri 04-Nov-16 21:53:46

I always cook my turkey on x mas eve. Leave to fully cool. Carve and store in the fridge (or garage if it is cold enough outside). Then I can deal with and get rid of the carcass which is a job I loath and would hate to do on Xmas day! I peel and prep all veg whilst waiting to play Santa on Xmas eve evening. Then the morning of the actual big day is so much more chilled.

Mindtrope Sat 05-Nov-16 07:21:52

I always cook the turkey on Christmas Eve, put in the fridge or garage. Any stock can be drained off or stock made with giblets the day before. All veg prepped on christmas eve too.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 05-Nov-16 07:30:26

I do the towel thing, put it on a towel on the draining board, cover in foil and another towel on top.

NoahVale Sat 05-Nov-16 07:39:48

i cook it first in plenty of foil. not Too much in advance, just do the veggies once it is out.

dementedma Sat 05-Nov-16 08:08:24

Another one who cooks on Christmas Eve. I also buy a turkey crown which is easier to slice and far less waste.

daisymoon77 Sat 05-Nov-16 09:40:55

DH used to remove the turkey legs and make them into a sort of Swiss roll with stuffing which could be cooked in the morning and didn't take up much room and would cook the breast the day before. It was lovely but he is veggie now sad

smellylittleorange Sat 05-Nov-16 09:50:45

I think a lot f people do this as standard there is supposedly a cheffy rule - rest as long as the joint is cooked - I would prefer the meat to still be warm though so would do in the morning

Whensmyturn Sat 05-Nov-16 09:51:23

If you keep your turkey hot make sure it's not in the lukewarm danger zone of temperatures for more than 1 hour and a half. It needs to be maintaining temperatures above 65 degrees. Same with cooling it down you need to cool it quickly so can't just leave it whole to cool as the centre will be dangerously luke warm for longer than an hour and a half then.

HolgerDanske Sat 05-Nov-16 12:34:11

You only need to cook the turkey so that it is ready one hour before the meal, then afterwards while it is resting (well wrapped and covered as others have said), pop the parboiled potatoes, veg sides and stuffing in as and when according to how long they need to cook for. It's honestly no hassle, doing it like that.

If you wanted to make it even more simple you could do carrot and parsnip mash the day before and just microwave it on the day - even less to go into the oven fsmile. And if you steam the brussells sprouts the day before, you could fry them up quickly on the day with some pancetta and chestnuts and have another really easy side dish done in no time!

I would go for doing as many of the sides the day before, at least in part, rather than coking the turkey the day before.

Good luck!

smellylittleorange Sat 05-Nov-16 16:36:24

good point about the temp..I shall be using my meat thermometer ..how long does everyone's Turkey generally take to cook? HolgerDanske I really like your brussel sprout idea 🎅

smellylittleorange Sat 05-Nov-16 16:37:55

oooh so it does work ...sorry going off on a tangent here with emoticons 😇🎅🎄

dementedma Sat 05-Nov-16 16:54:58

I shred the sprouts the night before and then on the day quickly stirfry them with pancetta, mustard and cream.
I use a bought ready made gravy, good quality one, and perk it up with a splash of port.

Mindtrope Sat 05-Nov-16 18:04:34

demented- you are wrong about the sprouts- they should be put on a long slow simmer as early as possible. Late November is ideal.

dementedma Sat 05-Nov-16 19:13:13

grin at mind trope

Redglitter Sat 05-Nov-16 19:14:54

My mum cooks the turkey mid December. Slices it portions it up and freezes it then takes it out on Christmas Eve.

daisydalrymple Sat 05-Nov-16 19:17:41

Ahh mindtrope terry wogan would have been talking about starting cooking the sprouts for weeks by now grin

LittleMoonbuggy Mon 07-Nov-16 13:41:17

Hmm good point about temperatures and food poisoning risk, I hadn't thought of that. I should carve it all up asap if cook it early in the morning and get in the fridge. Hot gravy should stop it tasting too cold hopefully.

ALemonyPea Mon 07-Nov-16 13:44:52

I usually cook my turkey when we get up to open presents, which is around 6am. Inthen cover with foil when it's cooked and slice while cooking the rest of the food.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Tue 08-Nov-16 07:45:44

A turkey will keep hot for a good hour, if you wrap it in foil (I use two layers) with a couple of tea towels on top. It carves better when well 'rested', too - it should rest for a while anyway.

That gives you plenty of time to cook everything else. You can have your potatoes already parboiled and ready to go in the oven, and everything else ready for oven or hob.

Always works for us. The whole turkey is just unwrapped and goes on the table to be carved.

WankersHacksandThieves Tue 08-Nov-16 10:26:10

I do mine on Christmas Eve. I portion it all and make my gravy and sTockenham with the carcass. On Christmas day morning I put the amount we need into the slow cooker with the gravy and leave it there for the day leaving the oven free for everything else.

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