Our Lead Culinary Manager and Chef, Cesar Fernandez, answers the most frequently asked questions about preparing, cooking, serving and storing the perfect Christmas Turkey, along with offering recipe inspiration, including how to make the most of any leftovers.
How to defrost a turkey
“The size of your turkey will determine how long it needs to be defrosted for. Check the instructions on the packaging but as a guide, it’s 10 hours per kilogram in a fridge set to 4˚C. Always defrost in the fridge rather than at room temperature to prevent bacteria!”
How long will turkey last in the fridge?
“If you’re buying a fresh turkey or are defrosting one, it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make sure you keep it on a tray that will catch any juices. Cooked turkey will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. Make sure to eat any frozen turkey leftovers within 6 months for the best quality and taste. If you have a Miele vacuum sealing drawer, you can always vacuum seal cooked turkey and this will last in the fridge for up to a week.”
How to season a turkey
“Whenever I cook turkey, I opt for either a compound butter or a dry brine. A compound butter is simply a flavoured butter so add raw or roasted garlic, lemon zest, fresh herbs or your favourite dry rub to butter. For a dry brine, combine salt, brown sugar, black pepper and thyme then spread over the turkey. You can do this up to 2 days ahead. Whichever you choose, make sure to spread it all over the turkey – on top, underneath, between the body, wings and legs, under the skin and in the cavity for maximum flavour.”
How to cook a turkey
“I always follow our tried-and-trusted Perfect Roast Turkey recipe, as using the roast probe in a Miele oven ensures it is fully cooked and succulent. If your oven doesn’t come with its own food probe, you can buy a manual one to ensure the turkey reaches the correct core temperature. Our combination steam ovens combine hot air and constant humidity, which allows for the heat to travel much faster, ensuring shorter cooking times, perfect and even browning and the best possible results. A 6kg turkey cooks in our combination steam oven in just over two hours for instance. You can then use the Miele combination steam or moisture plus oven to reheat any leftovers and they will taste as good as Christmas Day all over again. For something a little different, our Turkey Roulade with Prosciutto recipe is sure to impress”
How to make turkey brine
“To make a wet brine, you need salt, sugar and any combination of herbs and spices such as bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, coriander and so on. Here’s a simple recipe:
Ingredients: 200g coarse sea salt, 100g light brown soft sugar, 2 bay leaves, handful of thyme sprigs, 10 black peppercorns, zest of 1 orange, 2 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted.
Method: Fill a large container or stockpot with 1.5L cold water and set aside. The pot should be large enough to hold your turkey plus 3L of water. Pour another 1.5L of cold water into a large pan over a low-medium heat. Tip in all the ingredients and whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat then pour into the container or stockpot and leave to cool. Submerge your turkey, leave in the fridge overnight and when ready to cook, remove from the brine an hour or more before cooking, pat dry and roast.”
How to carve a turkey
“Carving turkey is similar to carving chicken. Just make sure you rest it long enough first. Start by carving down with your knife where the legs meet the body then take the legs off in one piece. Don’t separate the drumstick yet. Feel along the backbone and slice down the side to remove the whole breast in a single piece then repeat on the other side. Place the joints on a board or platter, turn the carcass over to slice off any dark meat underneath then separate the drumstick from the thigh and carve the dark thigh meat.”
What to make with turkey leftovers
“Turkey Curry and Turkey Soup are my favourite recipes to use up any leftover turkey. If you need further inspiration, the Miele app has plenty more recipes to try. If you’re too tired to cook after the big day, select Mix and Match in the combination steam oven and the app will tell you which ingredients you can place on the same tray as your leftover turkey to produce a whole meal in just 20 minutes.”
Four of the Best Miele Cooking Appliances for Christmas
Miele Collection 7000 H 7262 BP Oven with Food Probe
The A+ energy rated PureLine H 7262 BP built-in oven from Miele offers a DirectSensor S clear text display, pyrolytic cleaning, automatic programmes and a wired food probe for perfect results every time. The food probe enables users to cook by core temperature rather than guesswork and is perfect for meat, fish and poultry. There is no need to keep a watchful eye on the cooking process, as the food probe is simply inserted into the protein of choice, remains there throughout cooking, then sounds an alarm when the pre-set temperature is reached – ideal for the big day.
Miele EVS 7010 Handleless Built-in Vacuum Drawer
In Obsidian Black or Graphite Grey, this vacuum drawer is perfect for vacuum sealing and preserving ingredients and food, just like in a professional kitchen. It keeps contents fresh for longer and allows you to store in the fridge or freezer, either in bulk or in separate portions. It’s also great for marinading meat and fish, preparing food for sous-vide cooking and is easy to use with touch controls, fully telescopic runners and Push2open opening. It makes Christmas preparation easier than ever, so there is no last minute rush on the day.
Offering Miele's sleek M Touch controls for simple navigation at the swipe or scroll of a finger, this fully plumbed in model benefits from DualSteam technology, which introduces the steam at a higher pressure even when cooking at lower temperatures and offers faster heat up times. A clever ‘Mix & Match’ function works in conjunction the Miele@mobile app (and an internet connection) allowing users to select the main ingredient in their dish (meat, fish etc) with the app recommending other ingredients to produce a delicious meal in 30 minutes, without the need to worry about different cooking times, temperatures or shelf position as everything is cooked altogether on the same level, with the app sending the cooking instructions to the oven. A wireless food probe is also on board allowing the precise roasting of meat, fish and poultry every time. With the innovative Miele@home system, Miele appliances can be networked conveniently and securely, even integrating to existing Smart Home solutions such as Alexa.
Miele Generation 7000 ESW 7010 Warming Drawer
This sleek warming drawer provides the ideal environment for cooking dishes involving turkey, beef, pork, lamb, game and chicken at a low temperature, resulting in impressively tender, aromatic and succulent meats. Other uses for the Miele gourmet warming drawers including slow roasting vegetables, and gentle, safe defrosting. It can also be used to warm cups and plates to ensure that beverages and dishes are kept warmer for longer – particulary useful on Christmas Day.