Looking for some different ways to cook a turkey this Thanksgiving?

If you're like many people in Cleveland, Ohio you've probably baked your turkey in the oven like your parents, which they learned from and did like their parents, and they did like their parents, and you get the picture. We are in the same boat as you on this one, but what other options do we have? Would it be un-American to cook it differently? All kidding aside, people take the turkey just as serious as the Thanksgiving holiday itself in some cases. Also, don't get us wrong, we LOVE tradition and wouldn't imagine changing a family tradition just for the sake of shaking things up. But, what if you wanted to cook your traditional turkey AND a second turkey with a twist? This is what we would recommend if it's your first year of trying something new when it comes to cooking your turkey. We don't want you to incite any family feuds during your Thanksgiving dinner, so you may even want to keep it on the down low until you unveil your new turkey creation. If you're still intrigued by the idea of trying an alternative way to cook a turkey this Thanksgiving, read on and lets discuss some of those other ways that you can try out!

What are other ways to cook a Turkey?

There are countless ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey but a few different ones you can try are dehydrating, sous vide, stewed, stuffed with chicken and/or duck, spatchcocked, beer can, smoked, grilled, or deep-fried. So let's jump in and talk a little bit about each of these different methods. We obviously haven't tried all of these methods, but with a little research we were able to pull together some general ideas on each and hopefully it will give you some ideas on what method could work best for you and your family.

Dehydrating your turkey is essentially making your own Turkey Jerkey, which could be a great add on to your traditional Thanksgiving dinner and of course if will make for great left overs! Essentially all you would need to make your own dehydrated turkey jerkey is salt, pepper, and a food dehydrator, easy enough right? The next one isn't so easy. Sous vide is French for "under vacuum" and is a cooking style that allows you to keep most of the flavor in the meat that you cook, and it also helps to cook the turkey evenly. You would need to use a vacuum sealer and a specific sous vide cooker. From the research that we've done, its an in depth process that is a little beyond our culinary skills, so if you think it might be something you want to check out we would encourage you to investigate further.

Another viable option is stewing your turkey, which can easily be done by cooking your cubed or shredded turkey in a crock pot with your favorite seasonings and vegetables, which is great because it allows people to customize their stew to their families' unique tastes. A nice turkey stew can be a great addition to your dinner or can even be served before or after dinner as an appetizer or as a snack later in the day to be enjoyed while relaxing on the couch and watching your football game of choice. A Turducken is a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. If one bird is good, two birds are better, and if two birds are better, than three birds must be even better right? Some people think so! The best way to cook these is usually with a rectangular roaster with a rack. This may not be the easiest one to tackle for a first timer, but certainly worth a try. 

One strategy for cooking a turkey evenly and not overcooking it is using a spatchcocking method.  Spatchcocking involves butterflying the bird, removing the spine, and splaying it flat. You would then cook the turkey as it lays flat. There are a lot of advantages to this little known method. A Beer Can Turkey, what could be better? This method is pretty simple, you can use it on your grill or smoker by placing the turkey on top of a beer can (full of course) so that it stands straight up and absorbs the moisture. You can also use herbs and spices to add more flavor. They even make racks specifically designed to hold up the turkey and beer can to make it a little more stable. Smoking your turkey will allow you to control the flavor through the wood chips that you use on your smoker. Some cooks like to brine the turkey beforehand with unusual ingredients, such as wine, bourbon, or apple cider.

Grilling
your turkey can help you free up space in your kitchen(or give you an excuse to leave the kitchen). Nearly everyone has grilled something in their lives, so it is pretty self explanatory. Some things to remember when you are grilling a turkey however, are to be aware of the temperature using a meat thermometer to ensure that you regulate the temperature like you would when using an oven. You also want to keep an eye on the turkey to make sure that it doesn't get too dry as they tend to when you are grilling. Deep frying, isn't everything better deep fried? It certainly isn't as healthy for you, but if you're making this as a second turkey at least you're giving people options. The plus side of deep frying a turkey aside from the tastiness is the cooking time. Once you have your turkey prepped, you can expect to take around an hour or less to fully deep fry that bird!













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