The one way to cook a turkey you’ve probably never heard of and Americans’ other Thanksgiving must-haves

Mac and cheese, a variety of potato preparations and “trash can turkey” are some of the must-have Thanksgiving dishes this year, Americans in the nation’s capital told Fox News.

“Two things: rutabagas, number one,” Mark said. “Number two, trash can turkey.”

Cooking a trash can turkey involves smoking the bird “under a U.S.-made trash can for six to eight hours,” Mark said, adding that the method also has the additional benefit of angering his father-in-law.

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For Thanksgiving, “trash can turkey is an absolute must-have,” along with mashed potatoes, Mark’s son, Justin, said. “Growing up in the Midwest, potatoes have always been one of my favorite foods to eat.”

Mashed potatoes were ranked as the most popular Thanksgiving side dish in 2023, according to a survey by Campbell’s Soup Company, followed by stuffing, mac and cheese, and sweet potatoes. Cranberry sauce, meanwhile, was the most disliked traditional Thanksgiving food, according a survey by The Vacationer. 

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“I don’t like cranberry sauce. It’s a no-no,” Victoria told Fox News. “Nobody should have cranberry sauce on their dish at all.”

“My mom makes the best potato salad. That’s a must-have,” she continued, and “you have to have ham, baked macaroni and greens.”

Solomon agreed, adding that mac and cheese is the one Thanksgiving “favorite” that he “absolutely” needs. 

The majority of Americans Fox News spoke with preferred side dishes over main dishes like turkey or ham. 

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“Sweet potato must be over there,” Julio said. “I love mashed potatoes, so it has to be there too.”

Michelle said stuffing is a must-have because it’s only cooked for special occasions and “you don’t eat it every day.” 

Roberta told Fox News her must-have is homemade sweet potato pie using a recipe she refuses to give away despite being asked repeatedly. 

“I don’t eat pie,” Zion, said. “I’m not really too into sweets.”

It’s unconfirmed whether Zion has tried one of Roberta’s homemade sweet potato pies. 

To watch the full interviews about Thanksgiving must-haves, click here

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