This recipe comes from The Ginger Pig, our neighbours at Borough Market. The genius trick here is using streaky bacon to render fat onto the bird, which zaps away the vaguest hint of dryness. Perfect for beginners and veterans alike—you don’t even need to measure anything. For optimal flavour, find the best-quality bird you can.
See our guide to carving a turkey here.
The Simplest Roast Turkey (Also the Best)
- 1 free-range turkey, giblets removed (see recipe for size information)
- 5-10 rashers of streaky bacon
- Knob of butter, softened
- 2 onions, cut in half
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- Fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Rub the skin with plenty of butter and pepper and cover the breast with lots of streaky bacon. Scatter a handful of roughly chopped fresh herbs over the skin, then put bigger sprigs inside the cavity along with the halved onion and lemon.
Make a big tin foil cross inside your roasting pan, place the turkey breast side-up in the middle and wrap the foil around to make a loose but closed parcel. Alternatively, use our reusable chainmail and place it over the turkey.
Cook at 220°C / 425°F / Mark 7 for 40 mins. Reduce heat to 170°C / 325°F / Mark 3 and cook for approximately a further 3 hours for a small turkey (5-6 kg), 3.5 hours for medium turkey (6-7 kg), 4.5 hours for a large turkey (7-8 kg) and 5 hrs for any turkey more than 8kg.
Uncover for the last 30 minutes to crisp the bacon. Stick a long skewer in the fleshiest part to test for doneness; the juices should run clear. But the best way to check is a meat thermometer; the reading should be at least 75°C. Let it rest for half an hour before carving.
- Turn the roasting pan once or twice through cooking to ensure an even cook
- Bast frequently while cooking, spooning the drippings and pouring over the bird - this is especially good on a Big Green Egg
- Use roasting rack to collect fat, so you can use the same pan to roast potatoes