Turkey…straight from the garbage can!

Turkey Dinner

Turkey Dinner

Turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are a tradition in my family. We have all the fixin’s too! Potatoes, veggies, gravy, buns and of course DESSERT!

But, for my husband and I, we like to try new recipes and variations on these dishes to keep them exciting and to open up our palettes to the wonderful tastes that these foods can bring.

This past Thanksgiving, we were responsible for providing the potatoes and the veg, so this is what we made.

I borrowed a recipe from Eating Well for the potatoes. Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes. They were a hit not only to the grown-ups, but there were two 3yo’s, a 1 yo and a 10 month old who gobbled them up too! I wanted to do something different from the boring mashed potatoes and add a healthy option.

Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes from Eatingwell.com

Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes from Eatingwell.com

Hubby chose to make brussel sprouts. But not the cooked to death, grey bits of grossness that some people relate to. These were sliced and sautéed with butter and pancetta to turn these mundane morsels into scrumptous and savoury bites of heaven. Again, well received by all!

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

On occasion, we’ve been know to cook the turkey in an untraditional way. A la garbage can. What!? Are you kidding me? GROSS!

The prepped bird.

The prepped bird.


Well, you start with a BRAND NEW, CLEAN metal garbage can! Grab a big ‘ol bag of PLAIN briquettes, not the ones that have fuel on them. Prepare your turkey as you normally would if you were going to cook it in the oven. Place it on a wire roasting rack and put that into a roasting pan big enough for the rack, but not bigger than the circumference of the garbage can.

Yeah, that's a garbage can.

Yeah, that’s a garbage can.

Take 2 sheets of aluminum foil and lay them side by side, lengthwise and fold the edge together to create a sheet larger than the opening of the garbage can. Lay the foil sheet on the ground OUTSIDE in an area that is dry and not going to get damaged or catch fire from the heat of the briquettes. Place the roasting pan with the turkey on the centre of the foil sheet and place the garbage can, upside down, over top of the turkey until it sits on the ground. Take your briquettes and line them around the can creating a ring around it. Then put a bunch of them on top of the can. Take several briquettes and place them in a small foil pan and light them. Once they’re lit, using tongs, place the hot briquettes onto the ones lining, and on top of the can. The other briquettes will gradually ignite and as they start to ash, add fresh ones. The ash will create a seal and help keep the heat inside the can.

Here's cookin' at you!

Here’s cookin’ at you!

The men can sit outside having some boy time drinking beers while they tend to the can. Maybe pick up a couple Skuuzi’s to keep their hands warm while they freeze their buns off;)


Keep your hands warm and your beer on hand;)

Cooking Times:

10 lbs 50 mins
12 lbs 1hr
14 lbs 1hr 25mins
16 lbs 1hr 40mins
18 lbs 2hrs 5 mins
20 lbs 2hrs 15mins
22 lbs 2hrs 25 mins

Once you’ve reached the desired cooking time, put on some heavy duty gloves and lift the can carefully off of the turkey. The can will be VERY HOT!!!! You may want to remove some briquettes from the top of the can and around the bottom so as not to accidentally have them fall onto your arms when you remove the can.

All done!

All done!

Voila! A gorgeously browned, juicy turkey. Take the turkey off of the roasting pan and tent it with foil to allow the juices to remain inside the bird while you’re making the finishing touches on the rest of your meal.
Carve as normal and enjoy!
Your turkey will have a smoked taste to it rather than what it normally tastes like when it’s cooked in the oven.

Try it out sometime, it’s a great conversation piece and it’s a new way to liven up an old dish.

Next time we’re gonna try a “Garbage Can Roast”! Oooooh, the possibilities:)

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