Turkey buying guide

Christmas dinner is without a doubt the meal of the year, the one we all want to get right - and it all begins with the turkey. But fret not. Our simple turkey guide will help you find the one that works for you, be it a crown, a whole bird or a boneless joint. With expert cooking advice and recipes from Heston Blumenthal, Brian Turner and Rowley Leigh, not to mention our easy how-to videos, you really don’t have to go it alone. 

Free range turkey

Whole turkeys 

There’s nothing quite like a whole turkey as the centrepiece to the perfect Christmas dinner. One for the true traditionalist…

Ideal for: larger families, big appetites & leftover lovers - our 9½ kilo whole turkey can serve up to 20 people.
Not just a centrepiece to a classic Christmas dinner, a whole turkey is also the most economical bird says Waitrose Turkey Buyer Frances Westerman, 'Portions are generous which will last through to Boxing Day, and you can use giblets for your gravy and turkey bones for a hearty soup.'

Serves: 5-12 people varying on turkey and size

Editor's choice: exclusive to Waitrose, our free range white feathered turkey is a slow-growing breed that has been chosen for its taste and succulence.

Turkey crowns 

Are you a fan of white breast meat, shorter cooking times and easy carving? Make no bones about it, this is the bird for you.

Ideal for:  smaller families, those who don't want a huge amount of leftovers or have small ovens. A crown is a turkey with the legs and wing tips removed to give you a joint of white breast meat on the bone. Quicker to cook and easier to carve than a whole turkey, our crowns come in a cooking bag to help retain the moisture and the succulence of meat on the bone. 

Serves: 3-9 people varying on turkey and size

Editor's choice: Our turkey breast on the bone crown with a pork & sticky figgy stuffing is an easy to cook and serve option. Best of all, it's packed with the festive flavours of figs, dates, muscovado sugar, ginger & cinnamon.

Turkey crowns
Easy carve turkeys

Easy carve turkeys 

Ready stuffed & fuss free, our easy-to-carve turkeys are packed with flavour and are a simpler version of a whole turkey.

Ideal for: those who want  the look of a traditional whole turkey without the tricky carving. With all bones (apart from the legs) removed, our easy-to-carve turkeys not only look similar to a wholebird, but also contain both white and dark meat, just like a classic whole turkey. Quicker to cook and easier to carve, you still get that succulent off-the-bone meat synonymous with whole turkeys.   

Serves: 4-12 people varying on turkey and size

Editor's choice: our easy carve turkey stuffed with duck and a warming ginger glaze.

Boneless turkey joints 

Our succulent boneless turkey joints don't require any prep and are the easiest turkeys to cook - who said Christmas dinner needed to be stressful?

Ideal for: those who want succuluent white turkey meat with mininmum effort. Our boneless joints can come stuffed or unstuffed, and with around 200g of uncooked meat per person there's no waste. All our boneless joints come in a foil tray, so you don’t have to worry about the washing either.

Serves: 4-12 people varying on turkey and size

Editor's choice: new to Waitrose, our turkey breast parcel wraps around a fruity combination of pork, gingerbread crumbs and apricot stuffing. With a gently spiced apricot glaze for a glossy finish.

Turkey boneless joints

How much turkey do I need?

As a rough guide allow 0.5kg of turkey per guest