We tend to aim for large Thanksgiving gatherings, and thus tend to roast the largest turkey we can find. Last year, we ended up roasting a couple extra turkey legs so we had enough meat.

This year, at the suggestion of a local butcher, I'm considering roasting two smaller birds. He suggested smaller birds are younger, and would have more tender meat. Depending on exact sizes, I could possibly get both birds in a large roasting pan, or two smaller roasting pans into one oven.

This leaves me with an odd question, though: How do I estimate the cooking time for multiple birds? Do they cook like their combined weight, or more like their individual weights?

1 Answer 1


This looks like an excellent answer to almost exactly the same question, found here.

Tuxman Nov. 26, 2013 11:01 am

I am trying to get a clear answer on cooking 2-15 lbs birds in different pans/same oven. what would the cooking time, same 20 min per lb on 325 degrees? for convection oven?

dae Nov. 27, 2013 12:43 pm

@Tuxman: Each bird cooks separately. So it is like cooking one 15 lb bird. Start at same time. If one is bigger, it will take longer than the other. Allow max space between them. Put a digital probe deep in the thigh of the smaller one (avoid contact with bone), and take out when it gets to 165 take it out. Put probe in larger one, into thigh, take out when it gets to 165.

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