Turkey Size & Cooking Guide

Turkey Size & Cooking Guide


Here’s a guide to help you choose what size turkey you will need. Please keep in mind that this is an approximation only and based on no other protein being served.


WHOLE TURKEY (Fresh or Frozen)

4kg serves 8-10

5kg serves 10-12

6kg serves 12-15

7kg serves 15-20

8kg serves 20-25


TURKEY BREASTS (Fresh or Frozen)

Size 2kg serves 8

Size 3kg serves 12

Size 4kg serves 16



4kg  – 200°C for 20 mins. Then 180°C for next 2 hours 40 mins

5kg  – 200°C for 20 mins. Then 180°C for next 3 hours 20 mins

6kg – 200°C for 20 mins. Then 180°C for next 4 hours

7kg – 200°C for 20 mins. Then 180°C for next 4 hours 40 mins

8kg  – 200°C for 20 mins. Then 180°C for next 5 hours 20 mins


Before it goes in the oven, turkey should be at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge (1 hour for a whole turkey; 30 minutes for a cut) before cooking. Keep it covered, in a cool place.

The best way to tell if your turkey is cooked is by using a digital cooking thermometer. When cooked, turkey thighs should read 80°C, breasts 75°C. Always double-check by sticking the probe in several different spots within the thigh or breast, to find the lowest reading. If returning to the oven, allow 10-15 minutes, then test again until the correct temperature is reached.

Without a thermometer, the classic way to test is to push a spoon under the turkey leg so that it pierces the skin (or use a skewer), and inspect the juices that collect in the spoon. The juices should be pale gold and clear; if there are traces of blood, return to the oven as above.

Resting time

It is essential to rest your turkey for 30-45 minutes before carving (the temperature will continue to rise, but there’s no need to test). Put the bird in a warm place, tented with foil. It won’t get cold – but it will become juicier, and easier to carve.