Maybe it’s your first Thanksgiving away from home or maybe your first as couple together and you don’t have a real firm grip on how to fix the Thanksgiving Turkey. You’ve looked for recipes, and with just a few weeks or maybe a few days until the big event – even a huge dinner with tons of family coming over – you’ve started to panic. Maybe you’re worried you’ll slap a butterball into the oven and the Montauk Monster (“reek, what kind of animal IS that?”) will end up staring you down after hours of cooking.
The encouraging news is that it doesn’t have to be like that – there’s hope, and you don’t even have to settle with boring turkey this year.
Anybody Got a Smoke?
One of the best ways to cook your turkey has nothing to do with the oven. Instead, smoking your turkey can provide family and friends with a truly different, truly tasty bird. There are a million ways to prep the turkey, and you won’t have trouble finding lists of different spices and garnish for smoked Turkey. You may, however, need to invest in a smoker. You can go to your local home supply store and pick up an electric smoker for about $100. These items look like long, tall barbeques with a cord coming out the bottom. Just remember, chefs like to say that your best wood chunks for this will usually be some sort of fruit wood like cherry or apple wood, as hickory can impart a harsher flavor. You’ll need to do some research on basic rubs for the bird, then come up with your own recipe. You also need to know if your turkey has been injected with salt water to know if you’ll have to soak the monster for a few hours before smoking. Extra salt water in the turkey? You won’t have to soak it yourself. This smoking process will often take between four and six hours to accomplish, but your guest s will forever remember the dinner and will ask for second and third helpings. You might even enjoy the leftovers for a change.
Another approach has you, the chef, deep frying the Thanksgiving Bird in super-heated oil. This is a tough procedure and also requires some special gear and special know how so you don’t blow up yourself or your home. Just remember, your local fire department may not appreciate the boiled-in-oil procedure. This site has advice on how to successfully make a deep-fried turkey.
For desert – time to get to the deep fried Twinkies, right?
Try Four-Legged Turkey!
Another option? The other white meat, pork. Of course, health and dietary restrictions can apply, but pork is reasonable and is something you CAN cook on the stove or someplace else. It’s also a major alternative for you or your guests truly sick of the Butterball.