Friday, December 10, 2010

Garbage Can Turkey

Wha...? Woah, where am I? Oh, right. Recovering from an epic turkey coma.
All right sports fans; its time for a cooking lesson. Mooing is rare. Charcoal is well-done. To find delicious take the meat just slightly past the threshold between life and death. There you now know everything you need to know about cooking.
You want more? Well fine then. Since you won't leave I'll... I'll show you how to cook an Arakkoa!

You'll need to gather a few items first:
  • Metal garbage can, roughly 30 gallon. It'll become clear in a moment why it needs to be metal.
  • Charcoal. You'll need a lot to keep the heat up for the entire cook time.
  • A large stick. Two inch diameter, four feet long.
  • Aluminum (tin) foil. Shiny side makes a good heat reflector.
  • One Arakkoa, preferably dead. Turkeys may be substituted if necessary.

First things first; ensure the Arakkoa is dead. If you are substituting with a turkey, thaw the turkey and take out the giblets bag. Make any other preparations as normal, such as brining.
Once that's been sorted, start the first batch of charcoal. I use a charcoal chimney to get a good measured amount. Drive the stick into the ground. This will support the bird so it needs to be solid. The top of the stick should be well under the height of the garbage can. Then wrap the stick in aluminum foil, leaving a skirt of foil larger than the diameter of the can. Finally, arrange the can in the background for a well-composed image, as so:

When the cook site is arranged and the coals are ready, stand the turkey up on the stick. It should be suspended above the ground at roughly the center of the metal can as illustrated below.

Next, upend the can over the turkey and place the coals. One chimney-worth of coals go on top of the can and a second chimney of coals around the base.This is why the can needs to be metal. A plastic garbage can would be in direct contact with the coals and would melt all over the turkey.

But you can't just leave it at that. You will need to start another batch of charcoal to add to the cooking assembly. The coals around the turkey cooker will burn themselves up at roughly the same rate as readying another batch.
Continue to add coals to the top and base of the cooker as they are ready for the entire cook time of the turkey. A moderate sized bird (10-14 pounds) will take two to two-and-a-half hours to cook fully.
When the bird is done cooking, carefully lift off the can and set it aside. Make sure you don't spill charcoal on your turkey. I prefer welding gloves to protect my hands from the heat, but grilling mitts would also work.From there, lift the turkey off the stick and set it on a serving plate. Take the plate inside and place it at the carving station. Congratulations, your turkey is now ready to be carved and consumed.