We're approaching the end of the decade. It's late November in 2019 and you're burned out. Who could blame you for trying to take the easy way out?
Thanksgiving is here and let's face it, you're looking to do the bare minimum to get through the holiday unscathed. Looking through a litany of online cooking suggestions is enough to make your head swirl. So, naturally the thought of a simpler method appeals to you.
If your mind wanders to the microwave, you're not alone.
In 2018, young adults across America began to text message their parents en mass asking for instructions on how to cook America's favorite seasonal poultry in their microwave.
I was a harsh skeptic at first.
I thought to myself, what kind of millennial nonsense was unfolding from coast to coast? Entitled and culinary challenged kids were seemingly trying to mangle this sacred and succulent holiday.
So I did it. I microwaved a turkey. I wanted to know what would happen. I was shocked by the result. It didn't suck.
The day before Thanksgiving last year should have been simpler. I showed up an hour early to handle some residual business when my boss handed me an assignment to our 'Verify'.
"Adam, we need you to find out if you can actually cook a turkey in the microwave," she said.
A look of utter disdain immediately began to cascade across my face. But like any good news anchor drenched in makeup, I quickly masked my contempt for this absurd assignment behind a smile and set about procuring a turkey to irradiate.
The USDA has an aptly titled "Alternate Routes to the Table" section on its website which I where I found directions on how to "properly" microwave a turkey, as if there was anything proper about it.
Nine minutes per pound at 50% power, the USDA recommends. A WUSA9 intern procured an eleven-pound turkey, which meant we would spend ninety-nine minutes gleefully gathered around the microwave waiting to see if the turkey would explode.
There were no spices used and no butter spread on the bird. I discarded the giblets, covered it in plastic wrap, stabbed a few venting holes in the wrap and placed the turkey in the microwave. Ninety-nine minutes seemed to be the maximum time I could set it to anyway, so that seemed to work out.
Know this if you plan to replicate my method: make absolutely sure the turkey is defrosted. If not, this will not work for you. Also, many turkeys come with a plastic pop-up timer inserted into part of the breast. You're going to want to pull that out.
So, ninety-nine minutes later, I fully expected to remove a degenerated carcass from the microwave not fit for human or animal consumption.
As eloquently stated by WUSA9 Chief Meteorologist and turkey taste tester Topper Shutt, "It's not bad."
The irony of the whole pointless exercise is that it basically takes just as long to cook a turkey in the oven. The internet recommends thirteen minutes per pound at 350 degrees. For our eleven pound turkey, that would have taken an additional twenty-two minutes.