On the eve of Thanksgiving, our thoughts turn to the technologies that make America’s cherished ritual turkey feast possible. No, I’m not talking about guns, germs, and steel—I mean turkey cookers!
Search for “turkey cookers” on YouTube, however, and you’re confronted with a regular holiday horror show: gouts of flaming oil, blackened corpses of hapless galliforms, whole backyard decks lost to fire. Underwriters Laboratories has the lowdown on the need to exercise extreme caution in the use of any turkey technology:
Setting aside safety issues, we have to face the fact that “frying a turkey outside is yesterday’s technology.” And nothing says “tomorrow” like the phrase “Butterball Indoor Turkey Fryer”:
Better yet, dispense with oil altogether—but keep your helmet on. Styled an “oil-less fryer”, Char-broil’s “Big Easy” cooks with radiating heat—and offers the first integrated gravy-making technology:
The most techno-savvy approach is sous-vide—processing turkey and other foods in vacuum-sealed plastic bags in precisely controlled hot-water baths. It’s the favorite cooking method of former Microsoft research executive Nathan Mhyrvold—what could be more technologically exciting?
After a mere eighteen hours, your dark meat is done to perfection. Turkey for Hanukkah, any one?
And of course if firefighter helmets, oilless infrared technology, or $3000 sous-vide cookers aren’t your style, you could always cook your turkey with a giant mirror—taking time to reflect on all the technology for which you’re giving thanks this year.