Smoke it, BBQ it, or try sous vide! 6 alternatives to roasting turkey

Turkey Thanksgiving
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you might already be in host mode and planning the dishes that will crowd your holiday table. Maybe you live in a city apartment and don’t have an oven. Or you have too many dishes that require oven usage, and you can’t have a 20-pound bird hogging space for hours. Or, perhaps you just want to forge a different path and forego having to douse your bone-dry oven-baked turkey breast with gravy this year. If you can’t or don’t want to use an oven for your bird this year, there are many cooking alternatives that can produce delicious results. Tie on your apron – here are some methods to cook a turkey that will make you thankful you tried them.

Barbeque that bird

how to cook a thanksgiving turkey without an oven 1

If you’re looking for a turkey cooking method that produces very similar results to that of an oven but with more crisp, try barbecuing the turkey on an outdoor grill using a roasting pan or a rotisserie. Either a charcoal or gas grill should work just fine, but keep in mind that the lid must be high enough to offer clearance. If you’re going with the rotisserie option, make sure your turkey is on the smaller side, preferably less than 12 pounds. For best results, take care to completely defrost the turkey before placing it in a barbecue. Also, avoid filling the turkey with stuffing, as this may hinder your ability to cook the bird evenly throughout (and could get messy). You may have to brave the chilly winter weather to make this cooking method a go, but what’s a little chill when we’re talking turkey?

It’s all about the slow cook

how to cook a thanksgiving turkey without an oven 5

Yes, that slow cooker you use so much for stews and chilis can make a mean Thanksgiving turkey. If you have a small enough turkey and a very large slow cooker, you can use this appliance to cook a whole bird, but in many cases, you’ll need to chop it like you would a chicken. Most people have experienced dry, bland turkey at some point in their lives, but rest assured that slow-cooked turkey is incredibly moist and juicy. Don’t expect to get the nicely browned, crispy skin that you might get from other methods, but if maximum juiciness and fall-off-the-bone meat is what you’re after, give slow cooking a try. You can even make the stuffing in the slow cooker as well to let the appliance do double duty. Prepare the slow cooker and just let it simmer away – you’ll have tasty turkey and stuffing in less than five hours

Deep-fry it (just don’t catch your house on fire)

how to cook a thanksgiving turkey without an oven 4

This option is definitely not for the faint of heart, and it requires following many safety precautions. But if you’re confident in your deep-frying abilities, this method can produce a Thanksgiving turkey that’s as juicy as it is crispy. Before the holiday, make sure you have the necessary equipment, be it a stockpot, electric fryer, or a pot and propane. Whatever method you use, make sure you set up the equipment on a flat surface away from the house and car, and not on a wooden deck or in the garage. Also, be sure to completely and thoroughly defrost and dry off the turkey before cooking it to ensure the oil doesn’t boil over or burn you. Safety is of the utmost importance with this cooking method. If you’re looking for a sweet-and-spicy deep-fried turkey, try out this recipe, which takes about an hour.

Sous Vide that sucker

how to cook a thanksgiving turkey without an oven 3

Want to produce Thanksgiving turkey that’s restaurant-quality in its texture and taste? Try a sous vide cooking method that uses a precisely controlled temperature to get amazing results. Best of all, it takes all the guesswork out of traditional Thanksgiving turkey cooking methods. No more poking around with a meat thermometer and peeking under the foil tent. Sous vide cooking may seem daunting if you have little experience with it, but the approach is actually more hands-off than other methods, thus freeing you up to make your famous green bean casserole or Mom’s delicious mac and cheese in the oven. The entire process of making the turkey is 24 hours, starting the night before Thanksgiving, but the vast majority of that time is just letting the sous vide machine do the work for you. Need a machine that gets the job done perfectly? These are the best sous vide machines on the market to try out the craft.

Stovetop turkey, anyone?

how to cook a thanksgiving turkey without an oven 2

If you’re working with just turkey breasts or thighs, try sautéing on the stovetop. You’ll get juicy results, without the overwhelming mass of a whole turkey to deal with. This is also a great option if you’re hosting a small group for Thanksgiving night. Simply cook the meat with fragrant herbs and aromatic veggies, and use a meat thermometer to monitor the cooking process. Try to get your cuts of meat ahead of Thanksgiving week, as the frozen meat section can get sparse as the holiday gets closer. If you’re looking for a smaller, but still delicious, centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table, this method is one to consider. It’s also quicker than most of the other options on this list, as you’ll have ready-to-eat turkey in under two hours. Keep in mind that you’ll have to add on time to cut up the bird unless you buy pre-chopped turkey pieces.

Smoke it up

how to cook a thanksgiving turkey without an oven 6

For a unique smoky flavor, try using a smoker sprinkled with hickory, apple, or pecan wood chips. Make sure the wood chips are soaked in cold water for at least four hours and up to two days before you use them. This method does require more monitoring than some of the other options on this list, as the turkey needs to be basted every 45 minutes, but the results are well worth the effort. The whole process takes around four to five hours, depending on the size of the bird. Try this recipe for delicious smoked turkey.

Smart Home

Kitchen fires, viral turkeys, family knife fights, and more Thanksgiving fails

If you’re dreading small talk with nosy relatives or fearing you might burn down the house while cooking, we hate to say that your fears might not be unfounded. Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest Thanksgiving fails.
Smart Home

How to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner in an Instant Pot

We collected some of our favorite recipes and created an Instant Pot Thanksgiving dinner guide. Here’s how to ditch the oven and cook your entire Thanksgiving Dinner in an Instant Pot.
Product Review

Size matters, and Anova got it right with the Nano sous vide immersion circulator

Thinking about trying your hand at sous vide cooking? Anova recently came out with the smaller, more affordable Nano. The compact and easy-to-store precision sous vide immersion circulator is only $99. Here's our take on the device.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa added a skill for Butterball’s annual Turkey Talk-Line

Just in time for Thanksgiving Day meal planning, now you can say "Alexa, ask Butterball" for access to Butterball's Turkey Talk-Line. Alexa will connect you to Butterball experts who can answer any cooking questions.
Smart Home

Google Home Hub vs. Amazon Echo Show

The Google Home Hub vs. Amazon Echo Show: which is better? Both are smart displays that control your smart home, but that's where the similarities end. We compare design, features, price and more to find out which is right for you.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Hosting Thanksgiving but not sure where to begin? Try a Thanksgiving meal kit

Need a Thanksgiving meal, but short on time or expertise? Here are the best Thanksgiving meal kits to help you out. They either give you all the ingredients and instructions, or provide a full Thanksgiving meal that you just have to heat.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Product Review

Amazon's new Echo is smaller and cheaper; firmware upgrade improves sound

The all-new Echo is shorter, cuter, and comes with several different color and fabric choices. Our Amazon Echo review reveals that while the acoustics initially weren't great upon release, a firmware upgrade has improved the sound.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.