There are just a couple of more days until Thanksgiving, which means the time to chow down on some delicious turkey is all but upon us. But how did Thanksgiving get its traditional dish? There are many stories behind the reason why turkey is the centerpiece of the holiday meal.

One tale credits Sarah Joseph Hale, who edited Godey's Lady Book, a popular women’s magazine during the colonial era. In the magazine, Hale described the New England celebration with a roast turkey at the center of the meal. She also included recipes for roast turkey in the magazine, from where its popularity grew and eventually became a tradition during the festivities. Others believe Benjamin Franklin’s comment that the turkey with its many feathers is a more "respectable bird” compared to the Bald Eagle helped make turkey the bird to eat on what is considered the most American holiday.

In any case, once a year on the fourth Thursday of November Americans spend time with loved ones while feasting on the bird. There are several ways to cook the popular dish so why not ditch the traditional oven-baked turkey and check out the below five recipes for different ways to cook your Thanksgiving bird.

Fried turkey: 

Although delicious, frying a turkey can be very dangerous and it is important to proceed with caution to protect yourself and those around you. After taking proper safety measures, try tackling this deep fried beauty. With simple ingredients like salt, pepper and garlic powder, the cook time on this recipe can take anywhere from 35 minutes to over an hour depending on how big your bird is.

Roasted turkey: Turkey with ranch flavoring? Yes, please! Say goodbye to dry, poorly seasoned turkey and hello to a tender, juicy roast. This recipe is pretty simple, calling for only three ingredients: butter, packets of ranch seasoning and a turkey, of course. Make sure you have a roasting pan. It may be no fun to wash dishes, but a basic disposable aluminum pan will not suffice in this case.

Braised turkey:

Looking for a turkey with a lovely golden skin? Then braising is for you! This recipe requires cooking the turkey on high heat at 500 degrees, so you may want to crack a window. However, it should be worth the sweaty kitchen windows because of tasty ingredients like hard apple cider, lemon, orange zest and fresh rosemary.

Smoked Turkey:

Although you are not required to brine your turkey, it does make a difference in the end. This recipe suggests brining the bird for 24 hours and then stuffing it with apples, celery and onions before smoking it. Allow the turkey to rest after removing it from the heat. Cutting into it immediately can cause all the juices to run out and will result in a dry bird. Try injecting the turkey with garlic butter throughout the cooking process, your stomach will thank you.

Grilled Turkey: For this recipe, you will need an outdoor grill set to medium-high heat. Make sure the bird is cooked thoroughly and do not remove it until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it stand for 15 minutes after removing it from the heat and use foil to keep the turkey moist.