There are all kinds of ways to cook, bake, fry and smoke a turkey.  Historically, my own methods are pretty predictable and bland. I just bake mine in my Pampered Chef roaster right there in my traditional oven.

Some folks are far more adventurous. Some people like to deep fry theirs.

Some slow cook theirs in a Big Green Egg or something comparable.

But here's a method I had not heard of until just a couple of days before this past Thanksgiving. My friend Dan Reed cooked his turkey in a trash can.  Yes. You read that correctly. A trash can.  And, you know what?  It worked!

Dan, who lives in Owensboro, KY, said he saw this technique online and wanted to try it.  So, he rounded up everything he needed for it.


One 20-lb turkey

20 lbs of charcoal

2 hours

Check this out!

Dan Reed
Dan Reed
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As you can see, Dan put aluminum foil down on the ground and surrounded the trash can with charcoal.  Underneath that trash can are bricks that he used for the base of the bird to keep it up off the ground.  Those bricks were also covered in foil.  He also put charcoal on top of the trash can, so it was being hit with heat from the top and the bottom.

Here's some video about halfway through the cooking time.

Dan says the total cooking time was just two hours. He admits that he wasn't quite sure it was going to work.  He says, "I was worried it was going to be burnt."  As it turns out, it wasn't.  In fact, it cooked perfectly.

Here's the big reveal!

Because he wasn't sure if his Trash Can Turkey was actually going to work, he also prepared a couple of other turkeys for his family Thanksgiving. But it was the Trash Can Turkey that was the star of the show. Look at that thing!

Dan Reed
Dan Reed

Dan says, "As soon as I cut it, the family was all over it."  They all wanted to try it because of the way it was cooked.

So, what was the verdict? The Reeds devoured the Trash Can Turkey, particularly the young ones.  Dan says, "The grandkids LOVED it."


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