Not the conventional way of cooking a turkey, but the results are amazing and the bird tastes wonderful. Seasoning can be added, but is not necessary.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Lay about 3 long sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil out on the grass to make a square about 3x3 feet. Pound the wooden stake into the ground in the center of the aluminum foil.

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  • Fill the lid of the garbage can with a large pile of charcoal, and light. Place the whole turkey (thawed of course) onto the stake, legs down. Turn the garbage can upside down, and place over the turkey. Place piles of lighted coals on the top, and around the sides of the can.

  • Cook for at least 1 1/2 hours, or keep going until coals go out. Do not lift can during cooking. Brush the charcoal off of the can, and lift off carefully as some heat may rush out when you lift the can. The internal temperature of the turkey should be at least 180 degrees F (83 degrees C) when taken in the thickest part of the thigh.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

670.8 calories; 90.6 g protein; 0 g carbohydrates; 264.5 mg cholesterol; 219.3 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (25)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/17/2005
I have done this garbage can turkey for years.But I have went a little bit modern I now use a stainless steel stake and a stainless steel can. The turkey always comes out perfect. I also use 20# of k9ingsford chaircoal & leave it for 2 hrs. without opening the can. Read More
(194)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
11/16/2007
Please do not use a galvanized garbage can. The zinc fumes are toxic. It will also seep into the turkey and thus you can get poisoned eating it. If you are using a galvanized garbage can please burn the inside off first! Just don't inhale the fumes! We would hate to have someone in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day! Read More
(183)
30 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 21
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
12/17/2005
I have done this garbage can turkey for years.But I have went a little bit modern I now use a stainless steel stake and a stainless steel can. The turkey always comes out perfect. I also use 20# of k9ingsford chaircoal & leave it for 2 hrs. without opening the can. Read More
(194)
Rating: 1 stars
11/16/2007
Please do not use a galvanized garbage can. The zinc fumes are toxic. It will also seep into the turkey and thus you can get poisoned eating it. If you are using a galvanized garbage can please burn the inside off first! Just don't inhale the fumes! We would hate to have someone in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day! Read More
(183)
Rating: 3 stars
05/16/2005
You don't need to go through that much work. Need the garbage can- no lid. Put stake 2" X 2" in ground 15" high. Place foil around steak and a piece over top if you don't want bird to touch wood. Foil around base of stake is in case bird gets so done it slides down stake. Place garbage can over turkey mounted on stake with legs down. Light 10 - 12#'s charcoal till turning white. Shoval about 3 briquette's wide around bottom of can with a shoval full on top. Let cook for 1 1/2 hours without removing can. Turkey will be done. No charcoal inside of can. If you wish set a can or 2 of beer inside can with turkey for additional moisture. I found it does't make a difference. Size of turkey is also irrelevant. I've done these in freezing temperatures outside and have always had great results. Bird size doesn't matter. Watch out for the dogs once the stake is in the ground. Read More
(168)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2005
This way to cook turkey is amazing! It's so moist and has a wonderful smokey flavor!! The important thing about the trash can is to burn off any galvinizing before the first time cooking with it. All you have to do is get a really hot fire going inside of it then when the fire is out dump the ashes. Read More
(82)
Rating: 4 stars
04/29/2008
I've done this many times while camping through the summers. We have found that it doesn't seem to matter if it's hot out or cold and snowy. It always works out great. You should also try it with a couple chickens one on top of the other and reduce cook time to about 1 hour. Also good using a pork loin or eye of the round again reducing cook time. Season to taste. Be careful when removing can. Ashes can blow around especially on a windy day. Read More
(55)
Rating: 5 stars
05/11/2006
This is a great way to make turkey it comes out moist and juicy. I used a beer keg with the bottom cut out and charcoal around the bottom and on top of the keg then added a thermometer on the side to watch the temperature. The turkey came out great!!! Read More
(48)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/20/2008
If you use a wood dowel 3/4" and put a bunt cake pan at the bottom it can catch the juices and make an awesome turkey. Did it last year and was great. Read More
(42)
Rating: 5 stars
07/21/2008
I have been doing this for years. We camp and do it there most of the time. the night before we actually cook the turkey we have a huge camp fire and burn all the bad things off the can in the bon fire by the next day the can is ready to cook the turkey. It comes out perfect every single time. No need to add any beer cans or anything to it. Juicy smokey and just simply wonderful every single time. Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
11/10/2007
I have made turkeys like this for years for our Boy Scout troop. It is easy delicious fun great for camping and always a hit! Read More
(19)