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Friday, March 30, 2012

Roasting a turkey outdoors using coals

Hey, not bad! This was my first time cooking a turkey outdoors using a camp oven with coals.

The charred spots are pieces of skin that were touching the lid. The rest of it is golden brown!

I was told later, that I could have put aluminum foil on top, to keep those spots from charring.

I used a Lodge 14 inch deep camp oven. I had to remove the breastbone so it would fit.

This was a 14 pound turkey, although I would have preferred a 12 pound turkey.

But as it's not thanksgiving, I didn't have a very wide selection to choose from.

Would I do this again? Probably not, but it was a great experience.

It's a lot harder to regulate the temperature using coals, than in a regular oven.

I used an app on my phone, called dutch oven calculator, to calculate how many coals I would need.

Using a 14 inch oven, you need 26 coals to make 325 degrees.

I'm wondering if, because it was hot outside, that made the temperature of the oven hotter.

I used 18 on top and 8 on bottom, although maybe I should have used half on top and half on bottom.

I'm still fairly new to the use of coals. The turkey turned out good, though.

I seasoned my turkey the usual way, with poultry seasoning, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, butter, and "better than bouillon" chicken base.

I made my cornbread dressing, and gravy, the traditional way-- indoors!


  1. I do my turkeys in a Maca 12" x16". It will hold up to a 21 pound turkey. It cooks for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. See my blog. It makes the juiciest turkey ever. I also do my dressing in the Dutch oven. See Century cornbread dressing on my blog,also.
    Keep pushing cast iron. I love it.
    Ron Clanton
    The Outlaw Gourmet
    "Don't rob yourself of good cookin'"

  2. I could have done my dressing over coals as well, just using the same recipe and adjusting the coals accordingly.

    I don't have any maca ovens but I imagine they would be ideal for turkey.

    I did try the "ultimate turkey roaster" twice and the results were OK but not great. It was more "steamed" than roasted.

  3. I would have liked the breast part to be moister but I haven't mastered that yet. I haven't tried it "breast side down" yet. The drawback is that the skin isn't crispy when you do it that way unless you flip it during cooking.