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Oct 27, 2013 03:56 PM

Oven Size v Turkey Size


Sorry to stick my nose in a forum I'm not at all active in. I appreciate any answers you can provide.

I was hoping someone could assuage my Thanksgiving anxieties.
We have a double oven, the larger, lower oven measures
H12-3/4" W24-1/8" D19-1/2"

I'm assuming/hoping/praying we'll be able to roast a 13lb turkey in there. Does that seem like it'll happen?

Everything I've googled about oven and size leads to cooking time recommendations. I just want to make sure the bird will fit!

So many thank yous,
J & her oven.

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  1. That does sound a little tight...... Curious, I just measured my upper oven and it's 15" high..... 13 pounds is about the size I roast also.

    Do you already have the bird? If so, it may sound obvious but stick it in your pan and try fitting it in? If not, I'm not sure what you can use to replicate the size of a bird in a roaster.

    Do you have a grill or smoker as a back up cooking method? If not, perhaps spatchcocking or cutting the bird into parts would solve the fit issue, but it won't be a picture worthy whole bird.....but getting it cooked is the bigger, more important issue.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      We don't have it yet...I was nervous to order as we want to get a Heritage bird from Publican in Chicago. That's a big commitment to not fit! I guess we could get a less shmancy bird and do a sample roast?

      We do have a bigger grill but my husband is super nervous he'll jack it up.

      We have 6 adults and 2 kids...all are leaving on different days so calculating the leftovers and how much we'll need has been a mess this year.

      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

        I agree that the oven's not high enough for even overall roasting of a whole bird, but if you butterfly, spatchcock, or disassemble the turkey, you'll be fine. You can actually reassemble the parts on the platter, using a mound of dressing or an inverted bowl to lean the breast halves on.
        It won't look perfect but will allow you to present the entire bird on a platter before carving it, if that is an important part of your holiday tradition. Darned Norman Rockwell ! Anything else just seems like cheating, which it isn't. We are brainwashed by that painting.

      2. You can bypass the height issue by spatchcocking the turkey: removing the backbone and flattening it. Lots of posts here about the method, and Martha Stewart has a nice step-by-step photo series on it, too.

        1. THANK YOU.

          We tend to carve in the kitchen anyway, so spatchcocking it is.

          And, I'll get to say spatchcocked over and over. My mother will love that.

          2 Replies
          1. re: clio1215

            Spatchcocked birds make up for height by increasing width and depth. You need to make sure that both your oven is large enough and that you have a pan than can accommodate.

            You are a month out . Do a test run.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              I agree. Especially with the price of a heritage bird. Also the pan size, as hamster says, is at least as important as the size of the oven. But, yes , you have time to test it out.

          2. The biggest turkey I ever cooked was in my smallest oven! The bird was over 20 lbs, the oven attached to my 1930s Sears "Prosperity" gas range, roughly 16" square. The turkey was actually baked, not truly roasted, since I stuffed it into an old lidded graniteware "roaster," and in fact had to partially bone the breast to get the lid to fit on. Needless to say, everything else was either cooked stovetop, before the bird, or after it came out – my collection of warming trays came in very handy! The astonishing thing to me was how quickly it cooked, even with the stuffing in it, and how very good it was.