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Roasted turkey might be the most classic Thanksgiving preparation, but from deep-fried birds to sous-vide turducken, holiday cooks are getting more adventurous. Whether you're experimenting for Friendsgiving or hoping to shock your relatives this year, here are five brilliant alternative Thanksgiving turkeys.
1. Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
If you have a grill with a lid and a bag of hickory chips you can smoke a turkey. The recipe for this Slow-Smoked Turkey with Cane Syrup–Coffee Glaze starts by braising the bird first in a mix of coffee, apple cider vinegar and cane syrup or brown sugar. The resulting flavors are marvelously complex—sweet, bitter and herbaceous.
2. Deep-Fried Thanksgiving Turkey
Deep-frying a turkey isn't as hard as it sounds (though it does require caution). You can use different kinds of equipment: a stockpot, an electric fryer, a pot-and-propane setup (you can buy these at hardware stores or online at sites like cajun-outdoor-cooking.com). Then try this sweet-spicy recipe for Deep-Fried Turkey Brined in Cayenne and Brown Sugar.
3. Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey
Southern Living shows us how to prepare a mini Thanksgiving meal in a slow cooker, stuffing and all, with this recipe for Turkey Breast and Herb-Cornbread Stuffing.
4. Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey
In this step-by-step demo, Sunset's Margo True explains exactly what you need to do to grill a beautifully moist Thanksgiving turkey.
5. Sous Vide Thanksgiving Turkey
This recipe for Sous-Vide Turducken uses a highbrow technique to satisfy comfort food cravings.