What size turkey do I need? A guide to choosing your turkey at Christmas
About to order or buy your Christmas turkey? Find out what size will be best, depending on how large your ravenous horde is
What size turkey should I buy?
If you opt for a whole bird, here's how big you should go depending on how many you have to feed.
Ideally, allow 500g of meat on the bone per person: that should give you a generous serving and allow for a little leftover for Boxing Day sarnies and the like.
Four people or under
Turkey breast or crown, or go for the smallest size turkey and be prepared to get creative when it comes to leftovers
Six to eight people
4kg turkey - approx cooking time 2.5 hours
5kg turkey - approx cooking time 3 hrs 10 minutes
6kg turkey - approx cooking time 3.5 hours
7kg turkey - approx cooking time 3 hours and 50 minutes
8kg turkey - approx cooking time 4 hours and 10 minutes
*Cooking times are estimates and obviously depend on your oven
What cut of turkey?
A turkey crown is essentially a breast of turkey on the bone with the legs and wings removed. It's a great idea if you'll be a small-ish gathering or if no-one in your family likes the dark meat.
"We used to buy whole but just buy crown now so there's no waste and no faffing about."
"For just three people, a large turkey breast would probably be enough. I guess smaller options might taste better because of shorter cooking time."
"Personally I like the combination of light and dark turkey meat. Some years we are only four but still get a small turkey. We strip all the meat, put some in fridge for Boxing Day, and the rest is frozen in portions for future use."
"I still always buy a whole turkey over a crown because I just find it more satisfying to cook/carve and enjoy picking the last bits of meat off the bones before boiling it down to make stock. We always buy double the size turkey we actually need because it is tradition in our family to have turkey sandwiches with the leftover breast and the rest is used for two big turkey pies."
Liked this? Try these:
How to cook your Christmas turkey
Christmas cooking tips from TV chefs
Edible Christmas gifts
Last updated: 9 months ago