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Lachie Strachan’s recipe for the perfect Christmas turkey

Article image for Lachie Strachan’s recipe for the perfect Christmas turkey

Lemon & Herb Infused Christmas Roast Turkey

With Christmas just around the corner, this turkey recipe could be the game changer you need to bring a smile to everyone’s face this Christmas day!

Now there is nothing more I hate on Christmas day than being served up a dry roast turkey.

What we all need to understand is we cook to temperature not time, and that’s why having a good meat thermometer for this is essential!

As I have previously stated, my go to thermometer would have to be the Weber iGrill Bluetooth meat thermometer, which pairs to your smart phone and will let you know when the meat is cooked without having to stress and worry.

It doesn’t matter how large or small your turkey is, as the thermometer will read the internal temperature of the meat & let you know when it is done.

The other most important thing to note is NEVER cook your turkey or chicken with stuffing inside!

This is a common mistake most people make and if you do it, you all need to stop it now. Having stuffing inside your turkey will draw all the moisture out of the meat & into your stuffing, leaving you with juicy stuffing but a dry turkey.

Stuffing can be cooked separately in a tray in your BBQ or oven.

By leaving the inside of your turkey hollow this will create a space where the juices and oils will vaporise and create steam inside the turkey which holds more moisture at the end result.


  • 1 fresh turkey
  • 2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Pumpkin cut into slices (enough for how many guests you have)



  1. Into a large mixing bowl combine the olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 1 clove of garlic finely chopped, 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper & sea salt, the sage, chives, oregano & thyme. It is best to do this the night before to give the flavours a chance to enhance together.
  2. Around 2 hours before you aim to start cooking, take the turkey out of the fridge. A simple hack for the legs is to cut some foil and roll it up & use that to tie the legs together! You will then baste some of the mixture over the turkey, coating evenly and pouring a little inside the turkey’s cavity (which is free from stuffing of course). Place back into the fridge.
  3. Pre-heat your BBQ to around 150 degrees celcius & setup for indirect cooking. My favourite BBQ for this would be the Weber Family Q 3200 which can take up to around a 7kg Turkey. If you can use a set of smoking boxes & add some soaked apple wood chips to give a great punch of extra flavour. Yes, you heard me right – only 150 degrees. We are going to slowly cook the turkey for the first hour then crank the heat up at the end! This method dramatically increased the tenderness at the end and it will melt in your mouth!
  4. Before placing turkey into preheated BBQ, place 1 lemon cut in half & 1 sprig of rosemary inside the cavity of the turkey. Place into the BBQ & go ahead and baste some of the lemon & herb oil over the turkey. Repeat this process every 15-20 minutes or so.
  5. After about 1 hour of cooking, crank the BBQ up to around 180-200 degrees & around the turkey place some cut pumpkin that you have oiled and seasoned along with 2 cloves of garlic and 2 more sprigs of rosemary. Continue to baste every 20 or so minutes.
  6. You want to take your turkey to a finished internal temperature of 74 degrees. It is very important to rest your turkey after cooking for around 20-30 minutes covered in foil. The resting process will generally increase the internal temperature of the turkey by a few degrees so I like to take my turkey out once it hits around 72 degrees.

What you will be left with is a Christmas roast turkey like no other! It is going to melt in your mouth with beautiful zingy lemon and herb flavours. If you have been lucky enough to add a little bit of apple wood smoke, even better.

Peter 'Grubby' Stubbs