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Roasting Isn't Everything: Alternative Ways to Cook Your Turkey

by Emily Brown 18 Dec 2023

Spatchcocked Turkey on Chopping Board

When it comes to cooking a turkey, many of us immediately think of the traditional roasting method. While roasting is a classic way to prepare this festive bird, there are several alternative methods that can add a unique twist to your holiday meal. If you're looking to break away from tradition and try something different this year, here are some alternative ways to cook a turkey.

1. Grilling Grilling a turkey can infuse it with smoky, charred flavours and a crispy skin. Prepare your turkey by marinating it in your favourite seasonings, then grill it over indirect heat for a few hours. Consider using wood chips or chunks to add a distinctive smoky flavour.

2. Smoking Smoking a turkey imparts a rich, smoky taste that's hard to resist. You can use a smoker or even a charcoal grill with a smoker box. Experiment with different wood varieties like hickory, applewood, or cherry to influence the flavour profile.

Smoked Turkey

3. Deep-Frying Deep-frying a turkey results in incredibly moist and flavourful meat with a crispy skin. Be sure to follow safety precautions and use a dedicated turkey fryer. Submerge the turkey in hot oil for a few minutes per pound, and you'll have a juicy, golden bird in no time.

4. Sous Vide Sous vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing the turkey in a bag and immersing it in a precisely controlled water bath. This method guarantees perfectly cooked, tender meat with minimal effort. After sous vide cooking, you can briefly sear the turkey for a crispy exterior.

5. Spatchcocking Spatchcocking involves removing the backbone of the turkey and flattening it out before cooking. This method ensures even cooking and quicker roasting times. It's a great option for those who want a beautifully browned turkey with minimal fuss.

6. Braising Braising is a slow-cooking method where the turkey is seared and then simmered in a flavourful liquid, such as broth or wine, until it's tender and succulent. This method is perfect for those who prefer a moist and falling-apart turkey.

7. Stuffing Alternatives Rather than stuffing the turkey with traditional stuffing, consider using alternatives like rice, couscous, or quinoa. These options can add unique textures and flavours to your meal.

Turkey with Quinoa Stuffing

8. Marinating and Spicing Experiment with different marinades and spice rubs to infuse your turkey with exciting and unexpected flavours. Consider international-inspired blends or seasonal herbs and spices.

9. Slow Cooking Using a slow cooker or crockpot to cook your turkey can result in tender and juicy meat. Simply season your turkey, place it in the slow cooker, and let it cook on low for several hours.

Slow Cooked Turkey

These alternative methods offer exciting ways to prepare your turkey while still ensuring a delicious and memorable holiday meal. Whether you choose to grill, smoke, deep-fry, sous vide, spatchcock, braise, or try new stuffing and seasoning options, your turkey will be a delightful departure from the ordinary. So, this holiday season, dare to be different and impress your guests with a uniquely cooked turkey that will leave them craving more.

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