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90 Minute Turkey

Did you burn the Thanksgiving bird? Did your oven suddenly decide to quit on the most important cooking day of the year? In any case that you need an emergency turkey cooked quickly, I have got you covered!
This is the same recipe and method that we used on the St. James Soup Kitchen episode of Restaurant: Impossible and also Dinner: Impossible. I hope you don’t NEED it, but it’s here just in case you do!!
Time: 90 minutes or up to 13 hr 45 min
Yield: 1 pound turkey per person


1/2 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
8 ounces fresh thyme sprigs
4 ounces fresh parsley sprigs
One 12-to-14-pound turkey
6 lemons
20 to 30 pounds ice

Non-Brine Option:
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper


Special equipment: One 10-pound bag self-lighting charcoal, 1 new steel trash can (not a galvanized can!!) , one 2-to-3-foot metal stack or metal spit, 1 roll heavy-duty aluminum foil

To brine the turkey, thoroughly clean the trash can with food-grade cleaner. Dry. Then add 3 gallons water, the salt, pepper, herbs and turkey. Finally, squeeze the lemons into the brine. Add some ice and allow the turkey to brine for 12 to 24 hours, re-icing during the process to keep temperature below 40 degrees F. This brining is optional.

To cook the bird, remove from the brine and pat dry with towels. Or, for the non-brine option, remove the bird from the package, pat dry with towels, and apply the salt and pepper to the exterior of the bird.

Next, place foil on level ground to form a 3-foot-square area. Place a stake in the ground and place the turkey on the stake, legs first. Cover the turkey with the trash can and apply half the coals on top of can with the remainder tightly around the base of the can.

Light the coals evenly and allow the coals to warm until hot, then set the timer for 90 minutes and relax.

After 90 minutes, carefully remove the coals with a turner or fireplace shovel and uncover. Remove the turkey and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.


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