How to figure out what size turkey to buy

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How to figure out what size turkey to buy
Knowing how much turkey to buy is crucial, especially when entertaining for a large group at Christmas. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

At Christmas you usually want a big-enough turkey to provide leftovers - but not to go to waste. Here are some guidelines. These weights are for uncooked turkeys.

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  1. 1

    Count the number of people who will be eating turkey - remember that this number may be different than the total number of guests if the group includes vegetarians.

  2. 2

    Count for 450g (1 pound) of unstuffed, whole turkey per person for moderate leftovers. Allow about 600g (1.3 pounds approx) per person for more leftovers.

  3. 3

    Figure on about 400g approx (3/4 pound) per person if you're buying just a turkey breast. Allow 225g (1/2 pound) per person for boneless turkey breast.

  4. 4

    Allow about 500g (1-1/4 pounds) per person if you're buying a pre-stuffed, frozen bird.

Tips and warnings

  • Remember that you can find turkeys as small as a few pounds and as large as nearly 18kg (40 pounds) - and that the larger the bird, the higher the proportion of meat to bone. If you order a larger bird, you can freeze cooked parts for later.

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