5 Ways to Cook a Turkey

Rumor has it that some families are planning to host Thanksgiving dinner this year despite CDC recommendations. I can’t blame you if you do. To keep it safe, however, host your Thanksgiving gathering outdoors at Toledo Bend while the weather is still nice. 

If you’re looking for the best way to prepare your turkey, try one of these five cooking techniques.

Nothing Beats Fried Turkey

Fried chicken is a favorite in the south, but have you tried fried turkey for Thanksgiving? Frying techniques are quite versatile, including deep-fried, chicken-fried, and air-fried. Choose your favorite and enjoy the day with your family and friends.

Rachael Ray says you can deep fry a 12-pound turkey in 45 minutes. To keep it moist, and add additional flavor, she recommends brining it first. Of course, you can always smoke it before you fry it. Alton Brown also has a delicious deep-fried turkey recipe for the adventurous.

Baked Turkey Is a Family Favorite

If you’re tired of the traditional roasting recipes, why not bake your turkey instead?

Baking is another versatile cooking method. Whether you stuff your turkey with dressing first, baste it in your favorite wine or flavorful sauce, or get creative, your family will enjoy a good baked turkey. This delicious baked butter herb turkey recipe is destined to become a favorite.

Choose a favorite baked turkey recipe and head to the lake this Thanksgiving to celebrate with your loved ones.

You Can’t Top Smoked Turkey

Smoking your turkey can be a fun way to celebrate a year that has been quite extraordinary. It’s not a quick way to prepare a turkey, for sure, but smoking packs in a ton of flavors. To keep from drying the meat in the process, brine it first. That will keep it moist.

Hickory is a flavorful favorite in Texas. For a sweeter taste, though, smoke your turkey with honey

Grilled Turkey is the Best

As we say in Texas, “grillin’ is chillin’.” If you’re planning an outdoor event this Thanksgiving, whether at home or on the lake, you can’t go wrong with grilled turkey. Lighten up your day in Toledo Bend country with your favorite grilled turkey recipe

Most families wouldn’t say grilling is their cooking method of choice for turkey, but I can vouch for it being one of the best.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey 

If you believe everything tastes better with bacon, then bacon-wrapped turkey is destined to become a favorite around your holiday table. Guy Fieri fans will love his bacon-wrapped turkey recipe.

Celebrate Thanksgiving Day this year with your favorite turkey recipe and rent a cabin at Toledo Bend for the day. Serve your turkey with traditional or non-traditional sides and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tell us what you think!

Toledo Bend Lake Email Updates


Visit our Toledo Bend Lake Sponsors!

Toledo Bend Lake on Social Media


Toledo Bend Lake Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Toledo Bend Lake Weather Forecast


Thunderstorms Likely

Hi: 86

Monday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 74


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 82

Tuesday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 74


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 84

Wednesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 75


Partly Sunny

Hi: 90

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 73

Toledo Bend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/17: 172.20 (+0.20)

Toledo Bend Lake

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 12)

GOOD. Water slightly stained; 80 degrees; 0.77 feet above pool. The lake level is over full and flood gates are back open. They have five gates open at 1 foot each. It is flooding north of the lake now, so lots of water is still to come. Bass fishing has been fair, lots of fish being caught in the flooded bushes and hay grass from 1-4 feet with topwaters, frogs and spinnerbaits been best. There are still lots of fish out in 10-18 feet, but with water back on rise, they have got harder to catch. Crankbaits and Texas rigs will catch these. We just need some sunshine for a week or so to get it back to normal. Crappie fishing has been hard. Most reports are 12-18 fish per boat. Deeper docks and brush piles are the best with jigs and live bait. Report by Stephen Johnston, Johnston Fishing.

More Fishing Reports