Has anyone cooked a whole turkey (12-14 lb) in their wood buring oven.
yes. can't remember the details but think it was about 600 F for 3 hours. covered in foil. slightly underdone. since then we've learned that its pretty difficult to overcook poultry in the oven. so my advice ...
err on the side of too hot and too long. cover with foil until the final 30 minutes.
Here in rural Ontario, I have sources for fresh turkeys, both domestic and wild (gunned, not by me, can't hit the broad side of a skyscraper anyway). Did you cook fresh or frozen? I'd like to try one, but I find fresh birds cook much faster than frozen.
i think it was fresh. it was the smallest turkey we could find. we actually put 2 in because 2 of our guests had brought one (they originally planned to have their own thanksgiving but then opted for our place). the second one was left in for about 6 to 7 hours at progressively lower heat. it was delicious and not overdone (at 9:30 PM after all the other guests had left). if i do it again, i'll put the bird in at about 11:00 for a 6:00 - 7:00 dinner.
I've done a number of times and it works really well. I agree with Robert that it's hard to overcook poultry in a brick oven, because the oven is much more humid and moist than a conventional oven. Think about what a brick oven does for bread, where it allows bread to spring -- and the same principles apply to baking and roasting.
My experience is that the bird cooks faster than a conventional oven. I just looked up turkey, and the rule of thumb is at 325F, a 12-16lb bird cooks in 4 1/2-5 1/2 hours to an internal temperature of 185F.
If you start with you oven in the upper 400s, and cover the bird with foil, you will knock 1/3 off that time. Take the foil off at the end. No basting and the bird is perfect and moist.
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