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Big turkey small oven

Every year I do a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving dinner for my friends. It started as a tradition because some people had to go home and face Thanksgiving with gravy out of a box and this made me sad. For Saturday I have ordered a 19-20 lb turkey with will be cooked with stuffing. I do not have a standard sized oven, and I am slightly concerned. I don't feel like it's a good idea to put the turkey pan directly on the bottom of the oven (it's a gas stove), but any thoughts on maximizing that space? General thoughts on Thanksgiving in a tiny kitchen are also welcome! (I'm already planning on cooking a lot of things ahead of time, and running some stuff down the street to a friend's apartment).

asked by LucyS over 4 years ago
7 answers 7440 views
9b94e94b 0205 4f2c bb79 1845dcd6f7d6  uruguay2010 61
added over 4 years ago

Have the butcher take his band saw and cut the turkey in half. Then layout the halves in a pan so they are not as tall as a whole bird. Or de- bone the bird, roll and tie. You can leave the wings and legs with their bone. This will also reduse the size. Stuffing can be stuffed inside to roll.

25438297 7c5f 449f 85c8 6d14e78bbcc4  susan.streit

Susan is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added over 4 years ago

Would you find it sacrilegious to break down the bird and not roast it whole? With birds over 14lbs I love roasting the breast and braising the legs and wings seperately. This way the legs are perfectly cooked and the breast meat does not dry out. You get the turkey backbone for stock, and can also use your braising liquid as a gravy when you serve the meal. David Tanis has an AMAZING recipe for this method in his book, The Heart of the Artichoke.

Edfe409e 4744 406a 98e8 9c239638ad31  img 1965
added over 4 years ago

I certainly wouldn't find it sacrilegious, but I've never done it before and I'm not sure I'm willing to try it for the first time when I'm serving 20 people! But in general I love this idea.

0bc70c8a e153 4431 a735 f23fb20dda68  sarah chef

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I've had this problem before - do you have a barbecue? Turkey roasts fabulously on the grill, especially a Weber kettle.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Does your friend down the street have a bigger oven? The real work is getting the turkey ready. for the oven. You can still do the giblets & the gravy (withe giblet broth for extra flavour, of course), etc. in your own kitchen.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

As mentioned above, a good approach is breaking apart the bird. Here's a very good and well-known recipe for cooking turkey parts instead of a whole bird. Have used it with good success several times. (Mark Bittman in the NY Times.)

8e6a11cc fdc1 4134 8d9a f9efed780111  profile
added over 4 years ago

I've cooked an 18lb turkey in an apartment-sized gas oven without breaking the bird apart. I didn't stuff it, but it roasted perfectly. I put the oven rack as low as possible and made sure the rack in my roast pan didn't sit up too high. The bigger issue was how to cook/warm all those sides with the bird sprawled across the entire appliance :)

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