Thanksgiving Day Outdoors! Dutch Oven Turkey and Ham Recipe


Turkey or Ham? Ham or Turkey? Both? If you can’t decide which to serve on Thanksgiving Day and you need the oven for rolls and pies anyway, try taking your Thanksgiving meal prep outside! 

Last Friday, we gathered our Voice of Scouting team in our test kitchen to try Mark Hansen’s Thanksgiving recipes in our Barebones cast ironware. It was a hit for sure, as you can see in our video, and if you need some step by step coaching, take a look at these recipes from Mark’s Black Pot.

Mark is the author of Beginner’s Dutch Oven Cookbook and has just what you need in this Thanksgiving post: “Thanksgiving Turkey and Ham in the Dutch Ovens”.

He wrote: “You know, there are so many ways to do a turkey on Thanksgiving Day, and so many recipes it’s just amazing. I’ve been reading over on the Dutch-0ven yahoo group about all the ideas and methods and recipes, and it’s just amazing. While I’m giving thanks, I’ll give all my friends over there some good thanks for all their advice and help this last year” [2007].

We did the same herbal-roasted turkey that we did for Christmas last year, from Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes. We did it pretty much straight as he lists it. Still, we have included the recipe here. We also did one of that in the regular oven, because we could only fit a 13 lb turkey in the 14” Dutch oven. Then, in the 12” deep dutch oven, we did a ham recipe of our own design.

Dutch Oven Herb Roasted Turkey
Serves 12
Simple and delicious turkey, potatoes and carrots in one large Dutch-oven
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Turkey Stuffing
  1. 1 onion; quartered
  2. 3-4 slices bread (I used sourdough rye)
  3. 3 tbsp melted butter
  4. 1or more bay leaves (remove these before serving)
  5. 2 Tsp minced garlic
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper (I like it coarse ground)
  1. 12 lb. turkey
  2. 2 more Tsp minced garlic
  3. Salt
  4. 1 cup water
Basting Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1 tsp. dried mint leaves
  3. 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  4. 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  5. 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
  6. 1/2 tsp. sweet basil
  7. 1 tsp. celery salt
  8. 1 tsp. salt
  1. 7 medium potatoes; sliced
  2. 2-3 carrots; peeled & sliced
  1. 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. salt and pepper to taste
  4. drippings from Dutch oven
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If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. 1- Completely thaw turkey in the fridge (usually several days)
  2. 2- Rinse turkey, pat dry. Twist wings in behind.
  3. 3- Chop onion, mince garlic, mix with 3–4 slices of cubed, dry bread. Place quartered onion, bay leaf, and sliced garlic in the cavity of the turkey.
  4. 4- Rub pressed garlic all over the outside skin of the turkey.
  5. 5- Place the turkey into a 15" deep Dutch oven.
  6. 6- Pour 1 cup of warm water into the bottom of the Dutch oven. Cover and cook using 15-18 briquettes bottom and 24-28 briquettes top.
  7. 7- Prepare basting sauce in a small dish by adding melted butter and herbs. Stir until well blended. Brush turkey with basting sauce often as turkey cooks.
  8. 8- Arrange potatoes in bottom of Dutch oven around the turkey about one hour before meat is to be done. When potatoes are cooked, remove them from the oven and mash them with butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. 9- Replace coals every 50-60 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat reaches 170° F.
  10. 10- When turkey is done remove it from the Dutch oven. Increase briquettes on bottom of Dutch oven to 28. Add cornstarch to 1/2 cup water and stir until dissolved. Whisk cornstarch mixture into drippings in Dutch oven. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Season gravy with salt and pepper.
  1. I started out with the turkey, and began by mixing the stuffing ingredients and removing the neck and giblets, and various pouches that the company sticks in the turkey. I’d kept it in the fridge to thaw for the last few days, and took it out early in the morning. I wanted to have it on the coals by 10, to get it on the table by 2:30 or 3:00, including carving time. A 12 lb turkey isn’t going to have very much room for stuffing so I didn’t really do that much. But I stuffed it in the body cavity and set the turkey in the 14” dutch oven. Then I rubbed the additional minced garlic onto the body and sprinkled some salt over it. Then, I added a cup of water to the dutch oven, for steaming, and closed it up. I put that on the coals.
Adapted from Mark Hansen
Adapted from Mark Hansen
Voice of Scouting
Mark's Dutch-oven Honey Mustard Ham
This is the most simple and delicious ham ever and best of all it cooks in a dutch oven!
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 9–10 lb, bone-in ham
  2. ½ cup honey
  3. ½ cup deli mustard
  4. ½ cup soy sauce
  5. 8-10 whole cloves
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
  1. 1- Place the ham in a 12 inch dutch oven. (I actually had to cut it up into chunks to make it fit, and one chunk is still in the fridge. This would have been better in my 14”, but that was being used by the turkey.)
  2. 2- Slice diagonals back and forth across the surface of the ham, to let the seasonings seep in.
  3. 3- Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl, and then just smooth that over the surface of the ham.
  4. 4- Then, I put that on the coals.
  1. Estimate about 3/4 pound per person for a bone-in ham and 1/2 pound for boneless.
  2. There was a lot of liquid in the ham, so as I baked it, from time to time, I’d open up the dutch oven, scoop up the liquid, and baste it over the meat.
  3. I cooked the ham just as long as the turkey.
  4. Keeping the heat on was tricky. I went through a LOT of coals. You have to watch the under coals, because it’s easy to pay attention to when the coals on top are burning down, but the ones on the bottom need to be replaced, too.
  5. 12 coals below
  6. 14 coals above
Voice of Scouting
You may also find Mark’s January 16th post from 2012 helpful when he brined a turkey and draped it in Bacon “…It tastes like… Victory! Part 1” and take a look at our two great pie recipes at “Easy Pie for Thanksgiving” from last Saturday.

Skyler Hunter
Skyler Hunter is a Marketing Associate and videographer for the Utah National Parks Council. He attends Brigham Young University as an Advertising Major. He is from San Jose, California.


  1. Darryl Alder
    Darryl Alder says:

    I owe Skyler Hunter big time. He did me a big favor while filming our Christmas Brunch show when he let me throw in this unscheduled turkey. We sort of followed Mark’s Black Pot – Dutch Oven recipe, but I cook by feel so we kind of adapted it as we sent along. One thing Mark warned was that most 12 lb turkeys won’t fit in a 12-inch dutch oven. Lucky we had a Barebones 12 crock lid that is rounded and used it the first hour. After that, the turkey relaxed and the standard lid fit just fine. That was important because we wanted to stack our ovens. The food turned out great and we all enjoyed an early Thanksgiving feast last Friday. I hope this works for you tomorrow too.

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