Roasting turkey is a topic that inspires endless debate among cooks. How do you get the perfect mixture of juicy meat, crispy skin, and flavor? Everyone has a favorite technique, whether it's brining the bird or spatchcocking it (removing its backbone so it cooks almost flat).
However, if you're ready to move onto PhD levels of turkey cooking, you might just want to look beyond these methods and get truly wild...
Turns out an empty metal garbage bin can be the perfect tool to cook a turkey. One of its biggest advantages is that it radically cuts down on the actual cooking time. One recipe estimates that you only need about 90 minutes to cook a twelve-pound turkey.
You'll need: a turkey, your preferred seasonings, a bag of charcoal, butter or oil, a wooden post, lots and lots of tinfoil, and, oh yeah, a trash can. All those items plus a patch of ground that you won't mind destroying means you're in the game.
One caveat: while there are many recipes for trash can turkey and chicken, I wouldn't try this with duck, mostly because duck has a tremendous amount of fat. It needs to be siphoned off regularly, or it could start a grease fire.
Every holiday season, your local news has stories about some family's poor turkey going up en fuego because they didn't know what they were doing when they tried to deep fry it.
With a trip to the hardware store and some basic skills, you can avoid all that mess. Let Alton Brown show you how to fry a Thanksgiving bird the safe way. He also has a nifty test that will show you exactly how much oil you need to deep fry the bird without sending hot oil splashing everywhere.
He's also got detailed video on building his deep-frying derrick in your own backyard. PDF instructions here.
This final method is, to my mind, the easiest. It involves no tools or trips to Home Depot. It does, however, involve making your poor turkey get up close and personal with a can of beer. However, inserting that beer where the sun don't shine will ensure that your turkey is moist and flavorful. Get the step-by-step instructions here or watch the video below.