Trash Turkey

A few years ago, I came across a recipe for cooking a turkey in a trash can and was instantly intrigued. The idea stewed in my mind for a while and finally came to fruition this past weekend. Even though I was the chef in this case, I was skeptical right up until we tasted it. Thankfully, it turned out fantastic!


  • 31 gallon trash can
  • 13 pound turket
  • tin foil
  • stake
  • charcoal

If the trashcan is galvanized (which it probably is) make sure to spend some time burning out the inside so you all don’t get zinc poisoning. No big deal …

To cook:

  • pound the stake into the ground so that the turkey can perch on it without touching either the can or the ground
  • cover the ground with foil in case the turkey slides off the stake as it cooks (ours did)
  • flip the trash can over the turkey and stake
  • pile charcoal onto of the can as well as all around the base and lite
  • roast marshmellows over the coals
  • let the turkey cook for 2.5 hours (do not lift the can until the end of the 2.5 hours)

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Ours came out so good that the meat literally slid off the bones and people couldn’t even wait to get it out of the pit before digging in!


We went glamping* this weekend in NY’s Letchworth State Park with a collection of old and new friends from all over both NY and PA.

*Glamping – / ˈɡlampɪŋ / – A form of camping involving activities and attitudes more glamorous than those associated with traditional camping.

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