Trash Can Turkey

3 years ago just before Thanksgiving my husband said he was going to cook our turkey in a trash can.  My first thought was a trash can?  That is disgusting!

Let me tell you, that was the BEST turkey we have ever made!

Trash Can Turkey


We had all of our children over as well as our nephew and his wife.  It was a huge hit for everyone.   Our nephew still talks about how good the turkey was.

Needless to say, we have had our trash can turkey every year since.

First, you want to prep your area.  You will want a stake in the ground sticking out about 16 inches.  We used a 2×2.  You will cover the area and stake with aluminum foil.

Trash Can Turkey

You will want pans at the bottom of the stake to collect the juice run off.  We used small bread pans.  The juice is great for gravy, soup, anything you need broth for.

On the lid of your trash can light the charcoals and let them burn until they start to turn white on the edges.  You will want to use a full 20 lb. bag.

While the charcoals are heating prep your turkey.  Remove the neck and any thing else from the center.  Rub the turkey with melted coconut oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Trash Can Turkey

Put turkey on stake.  Place trash can over turkey.  Place about 1/4 of the charcoals on top of trash can.  The remaining charcoals place  around the perimeter.   Be careful as the charcoals are hot!

Trash Can Turkey

For a 13 lb turkey we cooked it for about 2 hours.  The charcoals were completely burned out.

Trash can turkey

You will want the temperature of the breast or thigh to be 165 degrees.

Trash Can Turkey
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  • Turkey
  • Extra Virgin Coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 20 lb. bag charcoal
  • Trash can


  • Hammer stake in to ground sticking out of ground about 16 inches. Cover area and stake with foil. Place pans next to stake to collect juice run off from turkey.
  • In lid of trash can light charcoals and let heat until edges begin to turn white.
  • Prepare turkey by rubbing with coconut oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put turkey on stake. Place trash can over turkey.
  • Place 1/4 of the charcoals on top of trash can. The remaining charcoals around the perimeter.
  • Let cook for about 2 hours. You want the temperature of breast or thigh to be 165 degrees.


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