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How to Roast a Turkey on a Tripod

Troop 66 uses a tripod to roast some of their turkeys at their annual Thanksgiving campout. Here’s how they do it.

1. Set up a metal tripod. Place three wire mesh cylinders (to serve as coal towers) attached to metal rods in between legs of tripods.

2. Cover ground with aluminum foil.

3. Remove giblets and neck from turkey.

4. Feed chain through turkey, securing at bottom.

5. Hang chain from tripod, ensuring turkey is at least a foot off the ground.

6. Wrap aluminum foil around wire mesh cylinders to create an oven.

7. Start charcoal. Once coals are glowing, fill each coal tower with coals.

8. Cover top of oven with aluminum foil.

9. Add coals to coal towers as necessary.

10. Cook turkey for four to six hours until internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.

8 Comments on How to Roast a Turkey on a Tripod

  1. To cook anything for 4-6 hours, they would be better off using hardwood split logs. You’ll need a couple of bags if coals to maintain that kind of heat, that long. Hardwood would give a nice smoky flavor, too. How about using two forked branches and a length of foil covered rebar to create a spit. Hard to flip the bird 😉 to properly cook the top when it’s on a chain.

  2. Cooking in a garbage can that is galvanized, as most metal cans are, can release toxic fumes that can make a person ill. The FDA has not approved any metal that is galvanized as safe for food storage or preparation. For further info please look up “cooking with galvanized”
    on the internet.

    • 👍. Also get the paint on the outside of 55 gal drums to off-gas and I’ve never seen a clean 55-gal drum to want to cook inside of. They all normally hold garbage or chemicals, neither of which you want near your food.

  3. ScouterEarl312 // November 5, 2019 at 10:21 am // Reply

    I cooked a turkey on a tripod a couple of times teaching adult leaders cooking. I used 4 carpenter’s mesh cylinders supported by rebar. We used 2 long, threaded rods driven through the upper and lower bones of the turkey so that they stuck out. A metal “yoke” was attached to the ends of the threaded rod so that we could flip the turkey partway through cooking to get it thoroughly and evenly cooked. We also put a drip pan below! Yum Yum!! We knew the turkey was cooked when it did a 1 1/2 gainer and landed in the drip pan 😉

  4. The tripod works but the best way to cook Turkeys outdoors is in a garbage can.

  5. We do this also and put the turkey in oven bags so that they cook in their juices.

  6. I will have to try this!

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