Mums in a turkey twizzle over timings

Posted by Josette Dunn on 17th December 2010

It’s no wonder stress levels soar as high as oven temperatures for mums tackling the Christmas Day turkey: a survey commissioned in the UK by Sainsbury’s suggests that festive chefs rarely get it right, ruining over 3.2 million turkeys – or £75million worth – a year. The UK consumes 5.4million turkeys a year, spending around £125million pounds.


Over 60% of those surveyed will overcook their turkey just to be on the safe side and 76% will contact their mums for advice on the cooking time. However, mum appears not to know best: 5% of respondents said they had never eaten a perfectly cooked turkey and a third agreed that it was only ‘sometimes’ they’d tucked into a bird at its best.

Although turkey has been the favourite Christmas Day meal for a hundred years, frazzled women are turning to up to six sources of information for advice on cooking their turkey. Over three quarters of those surveyed turn first to their mum for guidance on cooking times, with Delia Smith second choice (20%) and Jamie Oliver third (13%).

The survey, commissioned by Sainsbury’s and carried out on for Sainsbury’s revealed that even the celebrity chefs mums seek help from can’t agree on how to roast the ultimate celebration feast. The difference between Nigella’s and Delia’s recommended cooking time for a 6.5 kg turkey is over two hours.

Many respondents don’t even enjoy it preparing the Christmas Day meal: 1 in 10 admits they always cook the Christmas meal but wish they didn’t have to.

The answer for many Christmas cooks may be a ‘Pop Up’ timer, a clever little gizmo which sits in the densest part of the meat and indicates the moment when the meat is cooked to perfection.  Many turkeys are sold with these timers already insterted, which is sure to be popular with Australian customers this Christmas.