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Can I Cook Thanksgiving Turkey in an RV Oven?

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There are a few ways to cook a turkey the right way in your RV oven. Many people don’t have a stove in their limited RV kitchen, so those who do should consider themselves lucky. For some reason, however, many of these lucky people treat their RV oven as decoration or even storage space. This could be due to the fact that RV ovens have proven to be tricky and even difficult to use compared to a normal house oven. 

Many RV ovens often don’t heat evenly and take an extremely long time to get hot. However, there are some things you can do to get your RV oven at the desired temperature and cooking evenly, like rotating your food often or using a chef’s stone. For more on how to make your RV oven function optimally, visit here.

Those RVers without an oven may choose to use a Dutch oven for cooking instead. It may not be the typical way to cook something like a turkey, but it can also get the job done. It may even prove easier to use than your RV oven. Whether you have an RV oven or a Dutch oven, you may be wondering if you can cook an entire Thanksgiving meal with it. In any oven, cooking a turkey can be a difficult task that simply takes trial and error over the years. However, if this is your first time cooking a turkey in your RV oven or your Dutch oven, we’ve got some tips for you below.

Cooking a Turkey in Your RV Oven

If this is your first time cooking a turkey, you may be worried that you’re going to serve your family a raw bird. The first step? Don’t fret and have faith that your RV oven works. Here are a few more steps to include in your process:

  • Preheat your RV oven at least 20 to 30 minutes before placing your turkey inside.
  • Make sure you have a cooking stone. This is the only way to get your turkey cooked evenly.
  • Avoid buying a frozen turkey if possible. Thawing can take quite a long time.
  • Make sure your turkey fits in your RV oven! A 12 lb. turkey or less is usually the way to go.
  • Rotate the turkey every 10 to 15 minutes after you place it in the oven.

RV oven turkeyYou should know that people have successfully cooked a whole turkey in an RV oven. It just takes a lot of patience and rotating and basting. Your turkey should also be about 8 inches long or smaller to fit properly inside your RV oven, too. Unevenly cooked food is the biggest complaint about RV ovens, and it’s especially a problem when cooking a sizable bird, so use a cooking thermometer to make sure the turkey is done before you serve it.

If you’re still not convinced, another option to ensure that you have a perfectly cooked turkey is to have a butcher cut it into quarters. Cutting the turkey into sections makes it impossible to stuff it, however. If you can’t go without stuffing on Thanksgiving, there’s always the stove top where you can cook side dishes separately.

Cooking a Turkey in Your Dutch Oven

RV oven turkeyIf you don’t have an RV oven or have had such disasters trying to use yours properly, there is a simpler option: the Dutch oven. Cooking a turkey in a Dutch oven is certainly not the most conventional type of Thanksgiving meal but it can be just as tasty. Basically, you’ll be steaming the turkey. That means you won’t have any crispy skin and you won’t be able to cook the stuffing inside the turkey. However, you can still make the fixtures separately on your stove top if you have your heart set on eating stuffing.

First and foremost, make sure to buy a turkey that will fit in your Dutch oven with a pot on top of it to cover the turkey entirely. You can cook this meal on your stove top or you can cook it over a campfire. If you’re using a campfire, start a very evenly burning one. To find out which type of wood makes for the longest and best cooking fire, visit here before you buy any firewood. Also, make sure the base of the fire is flat.

To help you out a little more this Thanksgiving, check out our Dutch oven turkey recipe below.


  • Turkey
  • Apples, sweet or tart, whichever you prefer
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chicken broth
  • Salt & Pepper or Soy Sauce


RV oven turkeyWash the turkey thoroughly and remove the gizzards. Cut the vegetables into thick pieces. Place the vegetables (minus the potatoes) into the turkey’s cavity and place it in the Dutch oven. Pour a cup of the broth with salt or soy sauce (if needed) and place the gizzards and potatoes in the broth. Place the pot over the Dutch oven so that the heat and steam cannot escape. Place the pot/Dutch oven on your stove top or over the fire. If cooking over a campfire, make sure to surround the Dutch oven with as many hot coals as possible. If you have a thermometer, aim for 350 degrees maximum. When the liquid begins to boil, keep an eye on the turkey to make sure all the liquid doesn’t evaporate before you’re finished cooking. Add more broth when it runs low. Cook at this temperature for 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size of your turkey. Use a turkey thermometer to make sure it is fully cooked. Once it is, allow your turkey to cool and enjoy.

Other Helpful Tips

RV fires and RV kitchen fires happen more often than they should. Keep your eyes on the food you are preparing at all times. A small kitchen fire can easily engulf an entire RV in flames. Make sure you have proper ventilation for your RV oven and stove, and it’s always best to have a fire extinguisher on board.

In addition, you should always carry the right RV Insurance. Auto Insurance will not sufficiently cover you in cases of loss. Make sure to speak with an Insurance Specialist about buying Specialty RV Insurance. To customize your policy according to the months you use your trailer or motorhome, call (866) 501-7335.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.