Has any ever roasted a turkey in a wood burning oven? If so how?

I have access to an awesome wood fire pizza oven and need to cook three turkeys, I've never done this- any suggestions or has anyone ever cooked a turkey this way?

Lora Krulak


merkri November 26, 2013
I haven't roasted a turkey in a wood-burning brick oven, but I have roasted other large roasts in them. I agree with susanne's recommendations: turn it, cook over moderate heat, use a thermometer, and tend to it constantly.

One challenge you'll face is the difference in heat from one side to the other. Even if you let the fire go down, depending on the oven, the interior of the oven can have a lot of heat, and the exterior (assuming you're outdoors) can be pretty cool, especially in late fall. If you can preheat the bricks, and have an oven door, you might be best off scattering the coals, and keeping the door closed, roasting off the heat from the bricks, without any direct heat from the wood. Depending on the oven, though, and the size of the turkey, that might produce too much smoke and/or not enough heat.

One thing you should strongly consider is carving the turkey beforehand and cooking it in the oven in pieces. That might not be ideal in terms of presentation, but it will be much easier to cook and will probably turn out much better.
Lora K. November 22, 2013
Wow. Thank you! You sound like quite the expert! That helps a lot. I'm still nervous about it! ha.
susanne November 22, 2013
i did all my cooking and baking on a wood-burning stove many years ago, and yes that includes turkey. with a big bird you need a long, moderate heat. in a wood stove, you can easily maintain the temperature by feeding the stove wood intermittently. with a pizza oven, you do the same thing, but with your wood on one end of the open oven and the bird on the other. my son is an expert baker, and i've watched him make bread and pizzas in a pizza oven this way. you'll need to turn the turkey from time to time, as the heat is mostly on one side. use a thermometer, and be prepared to tend the thing pretty much constantly.
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