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Woman in red apron smiling taking a roasted turkey out of the oven in her kitchen.

How to Cook Two Turkeys in One Oven

So this year you've decided to have family and friends over for the holidays, AND do all the cooking. No pressure, you just have to figure out how you’re going to pull it all off without pulling your hair out in the process. As you develop your gameplan for the day and determine how to prep and cook everything in a reasonable amount of time you may have asked yourself this question, “Can I cook two turkeys at the same time?” Yes, you can! Rather than waiting for one big turkey to cook, you can cook two smaller turkeys in your oven, which will save you some time and the stress of trying to time everything perfectly.

These are the basic steps:

  1. Purchase, thaw, and season two small turkeys (about 10 to 14 pounds each). Brining is optional.
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Place each turkey, breast side up, on a wire rack (or cut root vegetables) in a separate roasting pan.
  1. Add a half cup of water to each roasting pan.
  1. Place the pans side by side in the oven, leaving about one inch of room between them.
  1. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit at the thickest part of the breast.

However, there are more details to think about before you begin. The keys to effectively cooking multiple turkeys in one oven are planning, choosing similar-sized turkeys, safely thawing, and calculating the right roasting time. Check out these detailed instructions.

Selecting the Turkeys

The size of turkeys you choose is key to your two birds in one oven success. You will need to leave room for roasting pans and room for air to circulate within the oven. Make sure they will both fit in your oven. Choosing similar-sized turkeys will also help them both cook evenly within the same time frame.

Thawing the Birds

To optimize efficiency and the meat’s flavor, fully thaw both turkeys before putting them in the oven. Summarized from the USDA, here are three ways to safely thaw a turkey:

  • Refrigerator thawing. Place your turkey in the refrigerator, and allow 24 hours of thawing time for every five pounds of turkey. This is the safest way to prepare your turkey. Plus, you won’t be required to cook the turkey right after it’s thawed, so there’s more timing flexibility.

  • Cold water thawing. Leave the turkey in the original wrapping, and submerge it in cold water. Keep the water cool (and change it when needed) to keep the turkey at a safe temperature. Cook your turkey right after you’re done thawing with this method.
  • Microwave thawing. Remove wrapping, and place your turkey in a microwave-safe bowl. Use the defrost function of your microwave based on weight. A general rule is to defrost for 6 minutes per pound. If your turkey starts to cook, take it out to rest before you defrost it further.

Related Topic: Appliance Pros Weigh In: Can You Microwave a Turkey?

How Long to Cook Two Turkeys in the Same Oven

Cooking at 350 degrees, your two turkeys should be roasted for 13 to 16 minutes of cook time per pound based on one of the birds. If the birds are stuffed, they will need more time (an additional hour). That means two birds that weigh 10 to 14 pounds each should cook for two-and-a-half to four hours total.

More timing tips and techniques for cooking two turkeys at once:

  • Calculate cook time based on the weight of the smaller bird. We repeat: Do not use the combined weight of the turkeys when calculating the time to cook two turkeys in one oven!
  • Rotate the positions of your turkeys every 30 to 60 minutes to help them cook evenly.
  • During the last 30 or 45 minutes of cooking, consider tenting the turkeys with aluminum foil and basting them to retain moisture and brown them.
  • If you don’t know the exact weight of your turkeys, utilize your thermometer to know when they are ready. This is described in more detail in the following section.

Related Topic: What You Should Consider Before Installing a Double Oven

How to Know When Your Turkey Is Done Cooking

Depending on the size of your oven and how much extra space there is for air circulation, your turkeys may take more or less time than expected to become fully cooked. Use a food thermometer to make sure both turkeys reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit at the thickest part of the breast. Be careful not to touch the bone when inserting the thermometer, as this can change the temperature reading. It’s okay to take one turkey out before the other if one is done slightly sooner than the other.

Keeping Your Oven Ready for Action

Whether you’re prepping and preparing a meal for a large group, small family gathering or yourself, having an oven that is working properly will make things a lot easier and less stressful. And it’s one of the best ways to ensure that cooking two turkeys in one oven will be a success.

It's also important to routinely clean your oven to keep it operating properly and ready for periods of heavy use—like the holidays. To ensure your oven and the rest of your appliances are working efficiently, call your local appliance pros at Mr. Appliance. We’ll check your appliance, fix any problems, perform routine maintenance so you can be confident all your appliances are working well. Call us today at (888) 998-2011 or scheduling an appointment online.