While not everyone in the U.S. will be eating turkey on Thursday, this website reports that 88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Given those numbers, it may not be hard to believe that 739 granted U.S. patents have the word “turkey” in their claims. While many of those turkey patents relate to decoys, calls, and other hunting gear, quite a few relate to methods and devices for cooking–and serving–turkeys.

A Turkey Fryer Patent

U.S. 6,314,869 is generally directed to “Outdoor Cooking Apparatus,” but I would expect its commercial embodiments to be promoted as turkey fryers, as illustrated in Figure 7.

Click here to view the diagram. 

1. A cooking pot apparatus comprising:
a) a pot having an interior, a side wall, a bottom, an open top, and an annular upper rim with a diameter;
b) a perforated liner that fits the pot interior, the liner having a bottom and a side wall and a portion that can be lifted for enabling the liner to be placed into the pot interior and to be removed from the pot interior;
c) a drip rack that can be fitted to the pot at the annular rim, the drip rack comprised of a one-piece length of stock having a plurality of bends, one of the bends orienting the length of stock in a generally folded shape that defines a plane, and at least some of the bends bending away from the plane to define a plurality of retainers that prevent a sliding of the drip rack laterally away from the pot; and
d) the drip rack being sized to support the liner when placed thereon.

A Turkey Stuffing Patent

If you love the flavor of cooked-in-the-bird stuffing but are concerned about food safety, U.S. 9,021,943 directed to “Device and method to simulate cooking stuffing in a bird” may be just the innovation you need.

Click here to view the diagram. 

1. A device for simulating cooking stuffing in a bird, comprising:

an external tube having an outer surface, an inner surface, a first end and a second end, said second end having an opening defining an interior space in the external tube, said interior space configured to accept a liquid and food ingredients therein, said opening having a lip thereon, wherein the external tube has a plurality of support braces on the outer surface to prevent movement; an external cap which fits over the opening of the external tube which seals the interior space of the external tube;
an internal tube having an outer surface, an upper end, a lower end, a first end, and a second end, said second end having an opening defining an interior space of the internal tube, said outer surface of the internal tube having a plurality of holes therein and having at least twenty or more support braces thereon, wherein the internal tube is configured to accept a quantity of stuffing in the interior space;
an internal cap which fits on the opening of the internal tube to seal the opening of the internal tube, said internal cap having a plurality of holes therein and a plurality of support braces thereon, wherein the at least twenty or more support braces are positioned between the plurality of holes in a staggered, brick-like pattern and wherein the ratio of holes to support braces on the outer surface of the internal tube and on the at least one internal cap is about 10:1, wherein the diameter of the external tube is larger than the diameter of the internal tube to allow placement of the internal tube within the interior space of the external tube,
wherein the external tube is analogous to a bird’s body and the internal tube is analogous to a cavity contained within the bird’s body, wherein heating the liquid in the external tube creates steam which enters the interior space of the internal tube through the plurality of holes in the internal tube.

(I think the last clause reflects the gist of this invention.)

A Stuffed Turkey Patent

U.S. Patent 7,131,906 takes a different approach for its “Ready-to-cook bird product,” providing a heating element that runs through the stuffing.

Click here to view the diagram. 

1. A food product comprising an edible bird, including a body and an internal cavity within the body, the body cavity being free or mostly free of the bird’s original visceral parts and internal bone structure; an edible filling disposed in the body cavity; and at least one heat transfer element passing from the exterior of the bird into the body cavity and the edible filling therein, said bird, including said filling and said at least one heat transfer element, packaged together for sale.

A Turkey De-Boning Patent

If you de-bone your turkey, you might want to know about U.S. Patent 6,572,467, directed to “Process for de-boning a turkey.”

Click here to view the diagram. 

1. A method of de-boning a fowl, comprising:
a) making an incision along a leg bone, exposing a leg joint between the leg bone and the rest of the fowl, and severing the leg joint, such that the leg bone is removed while leaving substantially all flesh of the leg attached to the rest of the fowl;
b) removing two segments of a wing, such that a third segment of the wing is left attached to the rest of the fowl, making an incision along a wing bone of the third segment of the wing; exposing a wing joint between the wing bone of the third segment and the rest of the turkey, and severing the wing joint, such that the wing bone is removed while leaving the flesh of the wing attached to the rest of the fowl;
c) making an incision along the back of the fowl, and separating the flesh of the back from the backbone and ribcage;
d) severing a joint between the thighbone and the rest of the fowl;
e) making an incision along a shoulderbone, such that flesh surrounding the shoulderbone can be pulled free while remaining attached to the rest of the fowl;
f) removing a ribcage from the rest of the fowl;
g) separating flesh from a breastbone and removing the breastbone;
h) removing a wishbone;
i) making an incision along a thighbone, exposing a thigh joint connecting the thighbone and the rest of the fowl, severing the thigh joint, such that the thighbone can be removed while leaving substantially all flesh of the thigh attached to the rest of the fowl.

Will you be carving a turkey this Thanksgiving?

Do you cook your stuffing in the bird?