How-tos 5 Different Ways to Cook Turkey

by SteakBytes


5 Ways to Turn Your Turkey into a Masterpiece

It’s getting to be that time of year, so let’s start talking turkey. Like, literally. Turkey is just like any other mouthwatering meat: finding a favorite way to prepare it is part of the fun. All the different ways to cook turkey can be daunting, but don’t let that stop you doing something different. If you want to buck tradition this year and transform your bird into a masterpiece almost too beautiful to carve (key word: almost), here are five of our absolute favorite methods:


Turkey Roasting On an Open Fire

Hold up… weren’t we going to “buck tradition?” Simply put, we’d be spit and roast ourselves if we neglected this classic method. However you slice it, roasting is still one of the simplest, most convenient ways chefs of all skill levels can get that fowl ready for feasting.

Yes, time is of the utmost essence when roasting to keep your turkey moist and delicious, but there’s a marvelous side effect to roasting that makes it all worth it: the turkey juice left in the pan is a key element in concocting unbeatable homemade gravy!


  • Picture-perfect results
  • Not too difficult
  • Pan juice for easy gravy


  • Been there, done that

If you’re raring to roast, this ridiculously tasty Turkey recipe from Food & Wine is here to satisfy.


Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

You need the right tools for the job to smoke a turkey, but if done right, this method results in a brilliantly tender meat with a flavor so deep, so rich, so amazing, you can leave your gravy boat docked in the pantry.

With a variety of smokers on the market and an even wider variety of wood chips to infuse your turkey with different, mouthwatering flavors, you have the freedom to mix and match and experiment.


  • Look like a total pro in your backyard
  • Customize your flavor


  • Requires special equipment
  • Water smoking can be laborious

If you’re thinking of starting a (turkey) smoking habit, try this recipe on for size from the good people of The Log Home Kitchen.


Grill Marks the Spot

If you can’t bear to put your grill in hibernation before giving it one last hurrah, then toss your turkey on the grates and get ready to impress.

When grilling your turkey you’ll need to keep the heat at a moderate, even temperature, which may feel a bit more challenging than either of the aforementioned methods, especially if using a charcoal grill. But, just like oven roasting, you get the benefit of catching that oh-so delicious turkey juices to make a one-of-a-kind homemade gravy that’ll leave your dinner guests speechless.


  • Grill marks always look impressive
  • You get to enjoy the outdoors
  • Catch the juices for homemade gravy


  • Need to be over-vigilant for an even heat

Break out the briquettes and pump up the propane, DelishPlan has a phenomenal Turkey grilling recipe simply too good not to try.


Bacon-Wrapped Paradise

Not content with simply stuffing the inside of your turkey? We like the cut of your jib. Go whole hog this year by weaving that bird a magnificent blanket of mouthwatering bacon.

It’s the perfect recipe if you’re feeling extra crafty, too. As time consuming as the weave may feel, it’ll be worth the effort as you watch every one of your Thanksgiving Day guests’ faces light up with a flavor profile that rocks their world.

Neither heavy on the hog or big on the bird, you may be surprised to discover the unforgettable taste more balanced between the two. The bacon, too, plays double-duty as it helps insulate and provide your turkey extra juices to help keep it succulent and buttery tender.


  • Bacon, and lots of it
  • Extraordinarily juicy and tender
  • A nice turkey/bacon flavor balance


  • A nice turkey/bacon flavor balance
  • Weaving a bacon blanket can be tricky and tedious

Thinking of giving thanks to all things bacon this year? Here’s a recipe from Today so good you may be voted to host the big meal every year.


Deep-Fried Fowl

Quick. Popular. Delicious. Dangerous. All these words easily describe this daredevil method. Let’s break them down:

How quick? After a nice brine, your turkey can be done in less than an hour.

How popular? The National Turkey Federation (yes, it’s a real thing), who once called this method as “the ultimate insult to wholesome food,” couldn’t hold back the floodgates of popularity and is now promoting it as “a perfect twist for barbecues, block parties, and holiday feasts” complete with instructions and recipes.

How delicious? Crispy on the outside. Insanely juicy on the inside. Tender as all get-out. There’s absolutely nothing like it. One bite will turn you into a believer.

How dangerous? One of the necessary pieces of equipment is a fire extinguisher. Need we say more?


  • Unparalleled texture
  • The quickest way to cook a full-sized turkey
  • You win Thanksgiving


  • Requires special equipment
  • You could burn down your deck…
  • Or your house

But if you’re feeling adventurous and feel like you can handle this Thanksgiving feat of derring-do, the National Turkey Federation has some instructions on how to prevent yourself from appearing on a YouTube compilation of deep fried fails. Bonus: here’s a recipe from Oh So Delicioso to get you started.


There you have it: five ways to prepare your turkey for your ultimate family feast. Whether you stick with tradition or fly with a new favorite, we wish you and yours a safe and satisfying Thanksgiving!


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About the Author

SteakBytes is the place to find anything and everything related to Omaha Steaks, including recipes from our executive chef, cooking tips from our product development team, and contests and insider info you won't find anywhere else. We're glad you stopped by!

2 Responses to 5 Ways to Turn Your Turkey into a Masterpiece

  1. Thank you for sharing my delicious, perfect-every-time smoked turkey method and rub recipe with your readers. For those on the fence, please read through the article and give it a try! Kudos to the other ones noted as they are also excellent ways to honor the bird. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. SteakBytes says:

    Of course, Cynthia! We love a fantastic smoked turkey, so we were happy to feature your recipe! 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

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