This Instructable describes how to barbecue a turkey under a (clean) paint can in just under two hours. This isn't the only Instructable on turkey-can-barbecue methods, but I have had very positive results with it. As noted in the title, I will also present a few does and don'ts along the way, as well.
Why cook a turkey under a can? Well, because...
+ you can avoid heating up your kitchen for hours of turkey cookin'
+ you can avoid burning your house down with a deep fried turkey fire
+ it is a pretty quick way to cook a 12 lb turkey.
+ it is a good, cheap way to feed a large group of people.
+ it is a good way to cook a turkey without access to a kitchen.
+ all the guests you invite over to share your turkey will either say, or think to themselves "this will never work, I hope he has Dominoes Pizza on speed dial."
+ when the turkey comes out golden, tender and delicious, they will all eat their words. Literally!
You will need...
+ a 12 lb turkey, thawed (this can take a few days in the fridge, so get your frozen turkey ahead of time)
+ one stick of butter
+ an injection marinade for turkey and injector (optional). There are several recipes online... google is your friend.
+ a new 5 gallon metal paint can (not plastic)
+ two charcoal chimneys
+ at least 10 lbs of charcoal, more if it is a cold day
+ lighter fluid, if you like big fires, want to scare your wife or children, or just enjoy the madness of a Y-chromosome.
+ newspaper kindling to light the chimneys
+ long handled barbecue grill lighter
+ large size, heavy duty aluminum foil
+ welders gloves
+ barbecue tongs to move the coals around
+ a "stake"
The stake is the only potentially specialized piece of equipment. Mine happens to be a stainless steel "T". The shaft is about 2 feet long, slightly pointed at the end, as it must be pushed or driven into the ground. Welded to the top of the shaft is a two inch cross piece, to help hang the turkey on as it cooks. My uncle made the stake for me in the machine shops where he works, as he gave this kit to me as a gift (packaged in the nice green tub you see to the right in the picture). Anything that provides the same function as described, and will stand up to the cooking heat should work.
Step 1: Prepare the turkey
The turkey needs a small amount of preparation. The giblets and neck should be removed. Bend the turkey wings behind the bird (i.e. put the bird in a full-nelson). If you are injecting with marinade, inject the night before up to an hour or so before cooking. Salt and pepper the outside and inside of bird. Just before cooking, divide the stick of butter in half. Shove a half between the skin and meat over each breast.