A turkey crown is the breast of the bird still attached to the bone, with the legs and wings removed. A crown is perfect if you have fewer people to feed or guests who all like white meat.


The other advantages to a crown are that it will cook quickly and should fit in any oven and roasting tin. They are widely available and becoming more popular by the year, but price per weight does work out a bit more expensive than a whole bird.

For more inspiration, see our best turkey crown recipes, plus our 30 best ever Christmas recipes from mince pies to pigs-in-blankets and more.

Watch our video guide to find out the main things you need to know about cooking a turkey crown:

Turkey crown cooking times

As advised by British Turkey, the temperature of your oven should be 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and the cooking time calculated as follows:

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Under 4kg: 20 mins per kg plus 70 mins

Over 4kg: 20 mins per kg plus 90 mins

Remember to weigh your turkey with any stuffing that is under the skin or bacon (or any other additions) wrapped around it. Finally, check that it is cooked properly.

1.5kg: 1 hr 40 mins plus resting at 190C/170C fan/gas 5

2kg: 1 hr 50 mins plus resting at 190C/170C fan/gas 5

2.5kg: 2 hrs plus resting at 190C/170C fan/gas 5

However, many turkey recipes specify a different oven temperature and if you cook the crown at a higher (see below) or lower temperature as specified by the recipe you are following, you will have to adjust the time.

For example, at 200C/180C fan/gas 6, calculate the cooking at 20 mins per 450g.

You may also have to adjust the time for the type of crown you have bought, a 3kg KellyBronze turkey crown, for example, is cooked for 1 hr 30 mins at 180C/160C fan/gas 4, by which point the internal temperature should be 60C (5 degrees less than recommended, but perfectly safe with a KellyBronze). It will then rise a further 5C as it rests.


How do I know my turkey crown is cooked?

Ideally, test it using a meat thermometer. Ovens vary and if you have put anything else in to cook at the same time, this can also affect the cooking time.

The internal temperature of your turkey should be 70C when it is ready. This is the recommended temperature for cooked turkey according to the Food Standards Agency. You must then leave it to rest for 20 minutes and it will continue cooking through. It's best to use a proper thermometer and not the red pop-out button sold with the turkey.

Before serving your turkey, always check that the meat is steaming hot throughout, there is no pink meat visible and when you cut into the thickest part, the juices run clear.

How long does it take to defrost a turkey?

Make sure your turkey crown is properly defrosted before cooking. Use these timings as a guide and check the temperature of the defrosting environment.

  • In your fridge, set at 4C or below and allow 8-12 hrs per kg.
  • In a cool room that must stay below 17.5C, allow 3-4 hrs per kg.

Check the turkey is defrosted by looking inside the cavity for ice crystals and by pushing the point of a knife into the thickest part of the meat.

Basic turkey crown recipe

  • 50g butter
  • 1 turkey crown

How to cook a turkey crown

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Smear the butter all over the turkey crown and season all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Put in a roasting tin skin-side up and roast for 70 mins plus 20 mins per kg, or until the internal temperature reaches 65-70C.
  3. Remove the turkey from the oven and rest in a warm place for 20 mins. Don’t cover it if you want the skin to stay crisp.

If you're looking to upgrade your kitchen kit, here are some of our tried, tested and top-rated favourites that would come in handy for cooking a turkey crown.

Top turkey crown recipes

Turkey crown kiev

Roast turkey crown with breast cut, surrounded by thyme and clementine

Apply the flavours of a chicken kiev – garlic, parsley and butter – to a succulent turkey crown, and you'll be in for a treat. It's a great Christmas main.

Roasted garlic & herb turkey crown

Roasted turkey crown on a blue plate with orange halves and onion

Roast your turkey crown in delicious spiced garlic butter. Roasting the garlic for the butter first mellows out the flavour. You might want to avoid the mistletoe after this one!

Easy smoked turkey crown

Turkey crown on a plate

Smoke your turkey crown for Christmas dinner with a twist. If you skip the smoking step, this recipe will still give you an easy, succulent roast.

Thyme & garlic turkey crown

Turkey crown on a dish surrounded by lemon halves

Enhance your roast turkey with the flavours of thyme, garlic and lemon this Christmas. Serve this crowd-pleasing festive main with our stuffing balls.

Turkey crown with roast garlic & pancetta

Turkey crown wrapped in pancetta next to roasted garlic and lemon

If you want a chorus of delighted 'oohs' and 'ahhs' as you bring your turkey crown to the table, look no further. It looks spectacular and the pancetta covering the skin is beautifully crisp.

Easy turkey crown

Turkey crown on a bed of salad with breast cut

Fuss-free and on the table in under 2 hours, our easy turkey crown is the one for beginners. If you’ve never cooked Christmas dinner before, it'll wow your guests. Cook it with our all-in-one trimmings traybake for an even easier meal.

Moist turkey crown with chestnut truffle stuffing

Moist turkey crown on a plate with potatoes and chestnut stuffing

Mushrooms and chestnuts make a well-flavoured stuffing that helps keep the turkey meat moist for this earthy and hearty Christmas Day stunner.

Brined roast turkey crown & confit legs

Brined roast turkey crown and confit legs atop some greens

Learn how to get your turkey crown beautifully moist by dry-brining it as we've done with our brined roast turkey crown & confit legs. This tenderises the meat, adds flavour and makes it extra-juicy.

Healthy roast turkey crown

Roast turkey crown on a plate with roast carrots, parsnips and thyme

If you prefer not to overindulge on the big day, then this lighter turkey crown is a great option. Packed with flavour from oranges, thyme, honey, soy sauce and caramelised vegetables, serve it with our healthy gravy.

Enjoyed this? Find more tasty turkey recipes...

Turkey crown recipes
How to make the ultimate turkey
How do I baste a turkey?
The foolproof turkey guide
How to prepare & carve a turkey
How to baste a turkey

Also try exciting twists on classic turkey from our sister title olive magazine.


Do you prefer cooking a whole turkey at Christmas or just the crown? Leave a comment below...

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