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Roasting a Mud Oven Turkey

Updated on August 14, 2012

Wood Fired Turkey

There are only so many ways you can cook a turkey at thanksgiving or any other time of year. Some will roast it in an oven. Some will boil it. But my favorite is to cook it in a mud oven. It simply tastes amazing. We think its the combination of the wood fire and the mud oven that gives this way of cooking turkey an edge over the competition. Mud oven cooking is a bit of an art. It requires some flexibility and adjustments to get used to the unique characteristics of your oven, its temperature range, and how to get the best results.

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Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 4 hours
Ready in: 5 hours
Yields: Serves 15 people 10.67 oz turkey per person


  • 1 20 pound Turkey, Thawed
  • 2 sticks of butter, salted
  • 1 box of foil
  • 1 large baking pan
  • 1 food temperature thermometer


  1. Fire up the mud oven. Burn a decent sized wood fire in the oven for about an hour or until you have a good pile of hot coals building up
  2. Remove the giblets from the turkey and dispose of them.
  3. Use the butter as a basting. Rub down the interior and exterior of the turkey with the butter.
  4. Wrap the turkey in foil and place in a baking pan. The foil helps to amplify the heat generated in the mud oven, as well as protect the turkey from ash that may stir up from the coals.
  5. Push the coals to the walls of the oven and place the turkey in the middle of the oven. Then move the coals back around the bake pan with the turkey in it.
  6. Until you are comfortable with how your mud oven generates heat and how hot it can get, I recommend leaving the door off your oven. If the oven has too much heat to concentrate on the turkey, it can cook it into nothingness.
  7. You may periodically continue to burn a small fire on the outer edges of the mud oven's interior to maintain the coals.
  8. Check the Turkey's progress after two hours with a food temperature gauge. Use an instant read thermometer and stick it into the turkey's thigh; the meatiest part of the turkey. When the internal temperature registers at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you know your turkey is done.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 10.67 oz (302 grams)
Calories 356
Calories from Fat126
% Daily Value *
Fat 14 g22%
Saturated fat 4 g20%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 4 g1%
Sugar 3 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 53 g106%
Cholesterol 124 mg41%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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    • greenhealthguru profile image

      greenhealthguru 5 years ago

      actually, I do have an article on building a mud oven. I'm not sure I can post a link in the comments but the title is 'How to Build a Mud Oven by Someone Who Has Actually Done It."

    • RebekaJoy profile image

      Rebecca Parsons 5 years ago from Colorado

      This sounds delicious, but I was wondering what a mud oven is. Maybe having a picture of a mud oven would be helpful.