Although this post is around cooking the Christmas turkey ns am sure that friend can cook turkey the day before Thanksgiving too!

I have actually just review on theHuffington Postthat, follow to a examine by the Food Network


Well something that will help a many is – chef as much of that as feasible in advance! This write-up concerns the turkey and the gravy. Mine next article or 2 will worry other dishes to prepare in advance.

You are watching: Can i cook a turkey the day before thanksgiving

As a chef, I have cooked and also served numerous Christmas (and, as it happens, Thanksgiving) dinners and also I constantly roasted the turkeys in advance. Also, domestically, time and time again on Boxing Day when eating pretty lot the same meal together the day before, civilization have remarked just how it appears so much nicer the second day.


Now I constantly roast mine turkey the day before, not only is it delicious that also way I can obtain up late and spend a the majority of time sitting approximately opening presents, nibbling things and also sipping festive beverages.

I’ll talk you v it.


1. If utilizing a frozen turkey defrost in accordance v the indict on the wrapper. Completely!!2. Cook your turkey ~ above Christmas Eve and start in the morning so that it has actually plenty of time after cooking to cool prior to chilling overnight.3. Take the new or defrosted turkey out of the fridge about an hour prior to cooking to lug to room temperature.4. If the turkey has actually instructions ~ above the wrapper monitor them!5. If your turkey has not detailed cooking times and also instructionssee here.6. If over there is a bag of giblets within the turkey eliminate it. You deserve to either litter it away or simmer the contents in water to make a light stock to add to the gravy. (When I remained in the West Indies ns seasoned and roasted all the turkey necks and the girl in the kitchen would fight end them – a neighborhood delicacy!)

7. Don’t to wash it; it’s a messy job and also could contaminate your kitchen. Any type of bacteria will be killed by cooking.8. don’t stuff it! If you stuff the turkey the will add to the weight and the food preparation time; 2 inconveniences, you nothing need. The stuffing will also cool more slowly than the meat and could be a health hazard. Also if you chef the stuffing independently it will have a lover crispy top.9. Preheat the cooktop in accordance v the accuse on the turkey or onthe previously mentioned website, Cookipedia.10. I recommend that you un-truss your turkey, i.e. Remove any type of string or everything holding the foot together and make it assume the position with legs spread out wide, see snapshot below. This means it will certainly not only chef faster and more evenly yet it will also an outcome in much more crispy skin. See listed below for information on crisp skin. 11. Dry the breasts and rub through a little oil. You have the right to use butter; it is tasty but the skin will certainly be softer and more prone to burning. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and maybe various other seasonings if friend like; herbs, seasonings etc.12. Season inside the cavity and,if girlfriend wish, put in half a lemon, wedges of onion or fresh herbs.13. Cover loosely through foil and also cook in accordance with instructions.14. Take the foil off around 30 minutes prior to the estimated finish of cooking to allow the chest to brown.


i don’t think the pop-up timers that part turkeys come with are dependable so rather …

~ If you have a meat thermometer the bird is cooked as soon as it got to 70oC/160oF and also incidentally this is an exciting point, the temperature will actually rise for a brief while after taking it out the oven.~ If friend don’t have actually a thermometer then pierce the thigh meat through a sharp knife and see if the juices run clear. If there is any type of blood in them, return the turkey to the range for one more 15 minutes then test again. Another indication the doneness is the drumstick need to waggle easily at the share if you move it.

Cooling & save the Turkey

~ when the turkey is cooked sheathe loosely v foil and set aside to cool.~ after ~ at the very least an hour reduced the legs and breasts indigenous the turkey – if you cut it too shortly delicious juices will certainly be lost, after an hour or for this reason they will have been re-absorbed by the meat.~ continue cooling every little thing till that is no more than room temperature.~ wrap the cold pieces in cling film and also arrange in a container the will conveniently fit in the fridge.

How to Reheat the Turkey

~ Get the meat out of the fridge half an hour or so before reheating.~ The legs and maybe the wings – species on a baking try, skin next up, and roast in a warm oven 200°C/400°F/180ºC fan/gas 6 because that 15-20 minutes to heat through fully and crisp up the skin.~ The breast meat – there are two ways I would recommend because that reheating this meat …

Method 1

1. This is what I perform at residence when food preparation for just a couple of people.

About 20 minutes prior to serving bring the gravy (see listed below for gravy information)justto a boil, turn down the warm and include the sliced breast meat and submerge the in the gravy. Over low heat, watching carefully, go back to a simmer. Perform NOT allow to cook or the meat will certainly toughen. Covering and set aside. This means the meat will heat through there is no the slightest chance of being anything yet tender and juicy. Serve the meat native the hot gravy and also then, if necessary, reheat the gravy.

Method 2

2. Lay the sliced meat in a shallow roasting pan or comparable and drizzle v a little turkey broth (that you have made in the roasting pan –see here). Covering tightly with foil and pop right into a warm oven 200°C/400°F/180ºC fan/gas 6 for 10-12 minutes.

As happy would have actually it 200°C/400°F/180ºC fan/gas 6 is the exact same temperature you will be cooking the roast potatoes.

Crisp Turkey Skin

Obviously, the skin top top the breasts will have softened overnight so piece it indigenous the meat, cut into as countless pieces as you have actually guests, spread out on a baking tray and then a few minutes prior to serving pop them in a hot oven the crisp up. Don’t, that course, get any gravy ~ above them once serving or they will instantly go soggy again.

How to make Gravy, v a Bonus!

According come the over quoted short article in the Huffington article “10% of human being admit come messing increase the gravy”

I likewise read somewhere the 25% the British people would like to see much more interesting flavours the gravy and, in ~ the very same time, gravy with an ext authentic ingredients.


I would imply making your very own gravy and, if you chef your turkey ~ above Christmas night you have the right to calmly make the gravy the adhering to morning rather than rush it in ~ the last minute. Think me, making gravy is easy, ns promise.See here for how to make wonderful gravy.


There is an included bonus to making gravy the day after cooking the turkey. Rather of closely pouring the liquid fat native the height of the meat juices, if you have chilled the meat juices left indigenous the day before the fat will have actually risen and solidified and be for this reason much simpler to deal with.

Christmas side Dishes

It is, that course, a gret help if the accoutrements to Christmas Dinner are straightforward too – see right here for some delicious Christmas si dishes, several of which can likewise be ready in advance.

Chrismas Dinner Timetable

See here for a timetable because that serving Christmas dinner in ~ 2.00pm, adust accordingly.

Dessert ~ incidentally

See below for some exceptionally easy, no-churn, delicious Christmas ice cream Cream recipes which, obviously, deserve to be do ahead.

See more: Can Swallowing A Cherry Pit Hurt You Swallow A Cherry Pit Whole?

Catering because that Christmas have the right to be time consuming, tiring and a bit stressy, so I believed I’d offer some suggestions to make it quicker, easier, an ext relaxed and perhaps an ext impressive.