Cooking A Turkey With 880 AA Batteries

Cooking a turkey right is serious business this time of year. With major holidays on the line, there’s no room for error – any mistake can leave guests disgruntled and starving. [Stephen Farnsworth] took a risk, though, and attempted to cook a turkey using AA batteries.

The allure of the AA for such a task is precisely because it’s such a poor choice. Designed for portability rather than high power output, it was never designed to be the energy source for a major cooking job. To get things over the line, [Steve] busted out the math to figure out how many batteries would be required. This involved computing cooking efficiencies, battery thermal performance, and the specific heat of the bird itself. With the numbers coming together a 300W slow cooker was put on duty, in order to avoid over-draining the batteries.

With 880 AAs loaded into a custom carrier, [Steve] hooked up the power meter and the cooker and kept a close eye on the temperatures. After a couple of hours, the battery pack started to heat up, so additional cooling was brought in to avoid fire. At just before the six hour mark, the turkey was cooked through and ready to eat. Estimates are that the batteries still had plenty of capacity to keep going for a few hours yet, too.

It’s not a fast or effective way to cook a turkey, but it’s certainly achievable. We fully expect [Steve] to submit the coin-cell turkey cook-off next year, too. Remember, a little engineering always helps, especially in the kitchen. Video after the break.

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Ice On Your Turkey Makes It Tender, Apparently

Turkey day is fast approaching and for those of us not cool enough to be rocking the deep-fried turkey this year we’ll have to suffer though a potentially dry oven-roasted bird. Chef [Justin] came up with a great way to prevent dried out white meat on a turkey using ice of all things.

The enemy of moist and tender breast meat is heat. Cooking meat for too long will dry it out. There’s a problem, though: the breast is the thickest part of the bird which means it will take longer than the legs or thighs to reach the necessary 160 degrees. [Justin] figured that if he could cool down the breast with ice, it will take longer to cook and both the white and dark meat will come out perfectly.

[Justin] set up a test with two 15-pound birds. Both turkeys were allowed to come up to room temperature, then ice packs were put on the breast of one bird for 15 minutes. This lowered the temperature of the experimental breast by a few degrees. Both birds were then thrown into the oven.

After coming out of the oven, both birds looked great. The bird treated with ice packs appeared to be more tender and moist. Sounds like the perfect thing to pull out of our bag of tricks next week.

Thanksgiving Turkey Quadcopter Shenanigans

The challenge: can you build a flying turkey that drops pumpkin pie bombs? That’s the question that Utah Aerials asked themselves and they did manage to make it happen. Of course they’re not starting from scratch, but adding a little holiday cheer to an existing quadcopter in the form of a spray painted turkey fuselage. The cheapest pumpkin pie they could find was hung from the copter with care, and dumped thanks to a servo motor. Check the video after the break to see if they were able to hit their balding-bullseye or not.

Seems like the wicked witch music should have been the background for that video.

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Hacky Thanksgiving

hackey_thanksgiving

Friends, pilgrims, send us your hacks. Most especially, your Thanksgiving hacks. We had a wonderful time over the past six weeks collecting and highlighting your Halloween props and now it’s on to the next holiday. Did you build your own deep fried turkey rig with some special features? How about that pie making robot you built for last year’s celebration?  Can’t live without your twittering cornucopia? Document it and send it to our tip line! All Thanksgiving themed hacks will be considered but only the well documented and creative entries will be featured.

If you just joined us, here’s a roundup of the Halloween Props we encountered this year:

disclaimer: boiling oil is dangerous, that’s why it used to be used for torture. Always consider your own safety!

[Turkey photo source]