Fire Pit Thanksgiving – Banish the Oven this Year

Outdoor LivingCooking outdoors is a favorite pastime of many Americans, especially Oregonians, and so is Thanksgiving! Why not combine them with a fire pit Thanksgiving? If you’re looking for a unique way to spice up the Thanksgiving feastival, and have a few extra layers of warm clothing, fire roasting your turkey will surely give your family and friends something to talk about. Below is one of our favorite ways of cooking a turkey in a fire pit and requires minimal maintenance once it’s roasting. Ready the waterproof layers and try something new this Thanksgiving.

Five Steps to Cooking Turkey Outside for a Fire Pit Thanksgiving

  1. Prep your turkey however you like, stuff it, wrap it in bacon, shove herbed butter under the skin. Whatever it is you like to do to your bird have at it. Wrap it in a few layers of cheesecloth and wrap it again in 3-4 layers of aluminum foil. If you have a dutch oven big enough you can always throw the turkey in there with some potatoes, onions, garlic and anything else that you like, provided it fits with the lid completely closed.
  2. Start up the fire pit and be sure you have plenty of coals, you will need enough to thoroughly surround the bird. Start them early and get them in that perfect cooking state.  Use a metal tool (that won’t melt) and dig a hole in the center of the fire pit if it’s big enough or in the ground next to it if necessary. It will need to hold the turkey with a thick layer of surrounding coals. Try and use all wood in order to impart the flavor into the turkey but you can always supplement with briquettes if needed.
  3. Once you have a good amount of coals glowing, use a shovel to create at least a 2 inch thick bed in the hole. Be sure not to put a lot of ash in or you will be sorely disappointed in a few hours and your Thanksgiving blunder will no doubt be talked about for generations. Place the wrapped turkey on the bed of coals in the center of the hole. Fill in the sides and completely cover the turkey with more coals and insulate the top with a layer of dirt or a lid if you have one.
  4. Go enjoy your family and cup of apple cider, then be sure to check the fire pit occasionally to be sure it’s still hot and moving along. A 12 lb turkey will take about 3 hours, then add another 15 minutes for every 2 lbs extra.
  5. When the time has come, excavate the turkey and enjoy.

More Recipes for a Fire Pit Thanksgiving

If you’d like to try another way of cooking with wood fire, take a look at this video, though we would not recommend soaking your spit in a chlorinated pool. That is just strange.

Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a look at A Campfire Thanksgiving Dinner! for a full menu of thanksgiving dishes that can be cooked over a fire.

If you plan on cooking some of your Thanksgiving meal outside over a fire pit or in your outdoor kitchen, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share with us in the comments or on Facebook.


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