Dutch Oven Turkey: The Simplest Way to Cook Thanksgiving Turkey

Yes, you have family and/or friends, but you also know that a lot of people love Thanksgiving because of the food, particularly the turkey. Eating turkey at Thanksgiving is about traditional as it gets.

Usually, youll see it cooked in a Dutch oven. Cooking turkey in a Dutch oven is quick. They say it is the most delicious way to cook a whole turkey. The whole turkey is full of flavor and moist. No part of the meat is dry.

What Size Dutch Oven for Turkey?

Less than 10-pound turkey:

  • 7.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • 7 Quart Oval Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • 7 or 9 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven With Bail Handle
  • 13.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet

10-15 pound turkey:

  • 10 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • 10 Quart Oval Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • 10 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven With Bail Handle
  • 15 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Over 15 pound turkey:

  • 15 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • 15 Quart Oval Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • 15 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven With Bail Handle

Pro Tip:

  • If you’re cooking a turkey over 20 pounds, you’ll need a 15 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven.
  • If you’re not sure what size Dutch oven you need, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and get a larger one.

Here’s a handy table to help you choose the right size Dutch oven for your turkey:

Turkey Weight Dutch Oven Size
Less than 10 pounds 7.5 Quart or 7 Quart Oval
10-15 pounds 10 Quart or 10 Quart Oval
Over 15 pounds 15 Quart or 15 Quart Oval

Additional Tips:

  • Make sure your Dutch oven is oven-safe.
  • Choose a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.
  • If you’re using a round Dutch oven, you may need to rotate the turkey during cooking to ensure even browning.
  • If you’re using an oval Dutch oven, you may not need to rotate the turkey.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

With these tips, you’ll be sure to cook a delicious and juicy turkey in your Dutch oven!

Cooking Turkey in a Dutch Oven Over Fire

This is one of the reasons why Dutch ovens are fantastic. You can cook Dutch oven turkeys outdoors. You can cook a turkey over fire, you can fry it, bake it, or even boil it.

It is crucial to remember that when cooking turkey over a fire with only coals on top and underneath, the turkey will burn. When baking, it will require a lot more wood because you want to try to control the heat for an extended amount of time.

This is the best way to do it. You want to dig a 20-inch hole. Now dig about 5-7 inches in diameter more to your Dutch ovens size (starting at the handles). Put the coals 6 inches of coals in the hole. Level the coals. Wait a few minutes till the coals dry. Put the Dutch oven in there. Then put about 6 inches of coals on top.

  • Making sure everything is sealed to keep the heat inside is the key to successful cooking in a hole in the ground. It’s a lower temperature because it’s not getting oxygen.

Once the Dutch oven is over the coals, it must be cooked all the way through. Make sure you cover all the edges with coals and cover above. Line some aluminum foil on top of the coals so that little wet dirt won’t choke the coals.

The ground may be wet, cold dirt. Make sure all the edges are sealed to keep all the heat in the hole. If smoke comes out somewhere, it’s not sealed well.

3 hours of baking will do. Thats about an hour per 2 lbs of turkey. With a temperature of at least 165 degrees or over. You can lift the pot now. Let the juice drain from the turkey. Slice it. Itll be soft, juicy, and tender.

Cooking Turkey in Dutch Oven Recipe

Turkey is a lean bird, especially its breast meat. The lack of fat easily makes the meat dry and tough. Brine the Dutch oven turkey in a solution of salt and water to give it moisture and flavor. Put salt, dried herbs, and spices. The salt breaks down its proteins and makes the turkey more tender. Leave this in the fridge for a little over 10 hours. Remove from the fridge, 1 to 2 hours before cooking.

Note: brine only turkeys that are not pre-salted or labeled “enhanced”, or “kosher”.

To achieve this balance, let the turkey be covered and uncovered:

  • To keep your turkey from drying out, it is best to cover it for the majority of the cooking process.

When roasting a turkey under cover, recipes frequently suggest adding a cup of water or broth halfway through. The liquid gently steams your turkey. Just make sure you remove the cover for the last 30 minutes before the turkey’s roasted. So the skin comes out crispy.

  • Preheat the oven for 1/2 hour before cooking it.
  • Heat the turkey stock in a saucepan.
  • Carefully pour the liquid around the turkey, not on top of it, so as not to remove the butter and seasoning.
  • Place the lid cover. Put the pot in the oven.
  • Roast the turkey for 1 hour.
  • Remove the lid. Roast for an additional thirty minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Until the skin becomes golden brown and crispy.
  • The roasting time may seem short. You may be accustomed to spending many hours roasting turkeys. The brining and the Dutch oven help lessen cooking time.
  • Give it a rest of 30 minutes. Carve. Serve with gravy.

Choosing the Best Lodge Dutch Oven Size


What size Dutch oven is best for roasting?

Anywhere between a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven is the right all-purpose size for most cooking tasks. It has high walls that prevent spillage and enough surface area to brown meat for a braise, but it’s not so big that you need help hauling it in and out of the oven.

What size pan for a 20 lb turkey?

In general, when cooking turkeys: A small (14-inch) roasting pan works for birds up to 12 pounds. A medium (16-inch) roasting pan is ideal for birds up to 16 pounds. A large (18-inch) roasting pan can fit turkeys up to 20 pounds.

What size oven do I need to cook a turkey?

A 30″ Freestanding Range (and most 2017 and newer Slide-in Ranges) will hold a turkey that is about 24 to 26 pounds. For a 30″ Freestanding Double Oven Range (and most 2017 and newer Slide-in Double Oven Ranges), the lower oven will hold a turkey that is about 20 pounds.

What size Dutch oven do I need?

The most common sizes are between 5 and 6 quarts. You’ll want to consider how you will use the dutch oven. Oval dutch ovens are less efficient on the stovetop, but they are better at accommodating roasts in the oven.

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