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Can I cook a turkey and a ham together in the same oven?
By Lorri in NY from NY
Yes, good luck.
You most certainly can and depending on how many racks you are using and size of your oven you can also bake sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, etc at the same time and you just need to be aware of the cooking times and oven positions of all the items :-)
I just did this Thanksgiving. First note, please use a conventional meat thermometer vs a pop up. The pop ups are designed to pop between 180-185 degrees. A turkey is done at 160 with resting which continues to cook to 165 which is the safe temp to eat. By the time the pop up "pop" your turkey can be way over cooked. I cooked a 9 1/2 lb turkey and 9 1/2 lb ham (smoked) at 325 for approx 4 hrs side by side. This includes removing the ham 3 hrs in, letting sit for 15 mins to somewhat cool, glazing, adding pineapples, cloves and such and returning to oven. Increasing the temp to 400 for the last 30 mins, they both came out at the same time and resting while I baked all the sides and biscuits. Everything was done, ready and hot at the same time. It was the first time I ever cooked a ham, much less side by side with a turkey and it worked perfectly!
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Is it alright to cook a turkey and a ham together in the same oven? Different pans of course.
Sue from Buffalo, N.Y.
Yes, certainly it is OK. Your oven maintains an overall temperature regardless of what you put inside it. The primary goal is to reach a safe internal temperature and not leave any raw places. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer if you have one, or cut into the inside thigh of the turkey to make sure the meat and juices are no longer pink.
If the cooking directions of the ham and turkey are offset by 25 or even 50 degrees, you should still be OK to proceed. Rubbing the meat with a little clear salad oil first helps preserve moistness.
Make sure you have adequate space around both the turkey and the ham and between the meats and the oven sides. Make sure you position the turkey and the ham side by side in the center of the oven, not too high or too low. If they do not fit side by side with space between them and around them, then your oven is too small.
Halfway through the shorter baking time, switch sides so that if you have any cold or warm spots in the oven, they will not affect the doneness of the food. Check the baking periodically to make sure everything is going as it should.
A simpler option is to just use those popup things that you press into the thick flesh of the ham or the breast of the turkey. When the gadgets pop up, the safe internal temperature has been reached and the meat is done.
A fully cooked ham (check your ham label) only needs to be warmed to serving temperature, so use the turkey cooking temperature and simply take the ham out when hot enough and the glaze (if any) is cooked. (11/21/2006)
I have been doing this for years. I have a small oven so I use my largest pan, but I wrap the ham in foil to keep it separate from the turkey. I also do not put the ham in right away, but let the turkey cook until about over half done, then put in the ham. Both turn out exactly the way I want them to. (11/21/2006)
Sue, something else to think about. My mother, who has since passed, used to put the ham in the oven on a pretty low temp the night before Thanksgiving when she went to bed. Then when she got up, she would roast the turkey. The ham was always juicy and never dry, because it cooked slow and low, so it worked out perfectly. (11/21/2006)