Mary Berry shares her best Christmas dinner tips to help it go smoothly – plus why she puts the turkey in a sleeping bag | The Sun
15th December 2022

WITH Christmas fast approaching and millions of families busy with the preparations, there’s a lot to organise.

For those who are cooking Christmas dinner on the big day, the one thing on their mind will be the turkey and how to perfect the bird for their guests.


Luckily for you, Mary Berry has come to the rescue with her tips and tricks for cooking a delicious turkey. 

The nation’s favourite cook joined Nick Grimshaw and Angela Harnett on Waitrose’s podcast, Dish, where she explained how she places her turkey in a sleeping bag once it’s cooked to keep it warm before it needs to be carved. 

Mary explained: “I really love Christmas and I’ve done a few Christmases in my time. 

“This Christmas we’re going to our daughter’s, (Annabel) and she’s said what we’re all doing – I’m doing the turkey. 

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“I roast the turkey at home, and I’ve learned not to overcook it. So many times, even I have overcooked it.

“This time I’m cooking it without foil, I shall cover it with foil once it’s done, and then I shall put some tea towels over the top.

“I’ve got an old sleeping bag that’s got no zip and I put that over the top in the corner of the kitchen and then I shall take that in the back of the car to Annabel’s.” 

Nick asked: “A sleeping bag? On a turkey?” to which Mary replied: “Why not.” 

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Angela then explained the science behind using a sleeping bag and revealed: “It’s insular, it’ll keep it nice and warm.” 

Mary continued: “Nick, once you take it [turkey] out of the oven, it goes on cooking.

“And so you want to insulate that.

“I shall pop it in the back of the car inside its sleeping bag and we’ll be having drinks and lots of jollity until we need to carve it.”

Mary explained that she also likes to “use a meat thermometer when cooking this as it helps to judge when the turkey is done”. 

She suggested cooking the turkey to an internal temperature of “75-80 degrees celsius rather than the 90 degrees celsius suggested on the thermometer gauge”.

Mary also advised leaving at least 30 minutes for the bird to rest after cooking. 

Mary revealed that she likes to flavour her turkey with butter, lemon, fresh thyme, and lemon and thyme pork stuffing with onion. 

If using Mary’s method with a sleeping bag, the turkey can “sit like this for up to two hours and still be piping hot when carved”. 

Not only this, but if you are awful at carving, Mary is here with her top advice.

In her Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection book, she advised: “I find it easier to carve one side of the turkey first. 

“Take off one leg and cut it in half to give a drumstick and thigh. Carve the meat from the leg – you may find this easier with a smaller knife – and slice the thigh meat. 

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“Cut the wing off the bird as close to the breast as possible, then slice the breast meat on the diagonal, including some stuffing. 

“Arrange the meat and slice stuffing on a serving platter so everyone can have a little light meat from the breast and dark meat from the legs.”

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