Rick Stein shares his Christmas dinner top tips – how to tell when a turkey is cooked

Morning Live: Rick Stein shares his Christmas dinner tips

Rick Stein, 73, is known for his restaurants up and down the country, famously serving seafood cuisine. Appearing on Morning Live, the TV chef recently shared his turkey cooking tips to help make the perfect Christmas dinner.

Turkeys were first brought to the UK in the 1520s.

They have been a traditional part of Christmas ever since and supermarkets now sell them in different sizes and varieties.

Along with gammon, beef and other meats, turkey is one of the main centrepieces seen on dinner tables on Christmas Day.

However it can be a hard meat to cook because if it is in the oven too long, it can end up going dry.

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With timings being one of the hardest things to master, Rick Stein has shared his top tip when it comes to knowing when a turkey is properly cooked.

Speaking on BBC’s Morning Live, he said: “What I always have said, whether you’re cooking pheasant, geese, or turkey, is to use a temperature probe.”

A temperature probe can be picked up fairly cheaply from retailers like Dunelm and Argos.

They measure the temperature of food items, to determine whether or not it is cooked.

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Rick added: “Obviously you need to know roughly how long the things are going to go in the oven for so…something like a turkey would be, per kilo, about 40 minutes.

“So do an estimate but as you get near the end, put a probe in-between the leg and the breast, right in the deepest part of the thigh and it should be about 73 [degrees]…total safety then.”

Once the turkey is out of the oven, it does need to rest for a good 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat.

For those facing a smaller Christmas this year who have already purchased a large turkey, there are many ways you can use the leftover meat as well as keeping it in the fridge for a couple of days.

How do you cook a turkey?

Foodie Mary Berry recommends spreading butter over the whole turkey before cooking, which will keep the turkey moist when in the oven.

Next she recommends putting lemon slices and thyme under the turkey skin to add some flavour.

However the chef adds that this is optional and isn’t necessary.

If you’ve opted for a full turkey, Mary’s recipe says to fill the body cavity with any lemon trimmings, herbs and onions.

This will again add lots of flavour to the meat.

Next is the important part, cooking the turkey.

Mary says to cook the turkey for around 40 minutes while wrapped in tinfoil, and then cook on a lower heat for another three hours.

Then, take the turkey out of the oven and baste the bird with any juices left in the baking tin.

The turkey then needs to return to the oven, without the tinfoil, for a further 30 minutes to brown up so that the skin turns crispy.

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