How To: 3 Weird & Tasty Ways to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey

3 Weird & Tasty Ways to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey

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. However, if you're ready to move onto Ph.D. levels of turkey cooking, you might just want to look beyond these methods and get genuinely wild.

#1. Trash Can Turkey

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.

#2. Deep-Fry Your Turkey in a DIY Derrick

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 a detailed video on building his deep-frying derrick in your own backyard, and he has PDF instructions too.

#3. Beer Can Turkey

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.

We've got lots more fun Thanksgiving tips here and here so you can have a great holiday feast! And if you want to skip cooking, you can still find places to eat on Thanksgiving, too.

More Brilliant Thanksgiving Hacks:

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Cover image via Mot the barber/Flickr


These are great tips. I have to try the beer can.

It also works great on chicken! Let us know what you think of the results.

Where did they get a metal can that is NOT galvanized? Once that thing starts burning it'll give off poisonous gases.
Easiest way to fry is to use an electric fryer - no open flame to cause problems.

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