Young and Hungry

Tired of the Same Old Roast Turkey? Try These Recipes for Thanksgiving.

The Washington Post's Jim Shahin is a barbecue alchemist. He takes an ordinary piece of meat, waves his hands over it (usually with salt and pepper in each fist), and sticks the protein into a black box. Hours later, from a thick plume of smoke, he'll pull out a blackened beauty glistening in its own sweat, as transfixing as a recently unearthed artifact. It will take all your willpower not to tear into the smoky flesh with both hands as Jim begins the painstakingly long process of letting his barbecued meats rest.

How do I know this? Jim is a friend. I've stood there in his kitchen countless times waiting over his carving board, hawk-like, so that he'll provide me with some small preview slice of brisket before the rest of the barbecue hits the table. So when he told me about his smoked turkey for Thanksgiving, I was all over it. I know the obsessiveness that goes into his barbecue.

I've got the smoker primed for Jim's preparation next week. It may not turn out as well as his, but it will be far superior to those oven-roasted yawners.

Don't feel like smoking? Here are some other non-traditional turkey recipes:

  • Capital Spice

    We did a smoked vs. roasted comparison about two years ago using two halves of the same turkey, and smoked won hands-down. We also took the time to brine the turkey beforehand, which resulted in a moist and tender bird throughout.

    Highly recommend giving smoking a shot...hopefully yours won't result in five fire trucks showing up on a Sunday morning!