How to cook a goose

Want to be totally traditional this year with a goose for the Christmas table? Discover how to roast the festive bird

Roast goose
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Goose has a longer history as a Christmas centrepiece than the relative newcomer, the turkey. Not tried the darker meat of this centrepiece for your festive meal before? Now’s the time to embrace the more gamey flavour of this bird.

Roasting a goose needn’t be a puzzle even if you’re a first timer, either. Our step-by-step instructions include all you need to know to bring a delicious bird to the table.

For more recipes (including for roasties and veg), see our dedicated hub. And don't miss all our Christmas buys, advice and how tos.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour to come up to room temperature

Cooking time: 2 hours 35 minutes


4.5kg goose

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Remove goose from fridge and allow to come up to room temperature for one hour before cooking.

Preheat oven to 190ºC/375ºF/GM5.

1. Remove any giblets and fat from the cavity. Pat skin dry.

2. Place the goose on a rack in a roasting tin. Pierce the skin all over with a sharp knife, including under the wings and thighs. Rub goose all over with salt and sprinkle with pepper.

3. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for around 2 hours 35 minutes. Baste approximately every 30 minutes, as well as very carefully removing excess fat from the tin.

4. To test whether it’s cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg. If the juices run clear, it’s cooked.

5. Rest the goose covered with foil in a warm place for 30 minutes before carving.

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Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.