Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Happy Thanksgiving – Picking up my Imu-cooked turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving! As reported in yesterday’s blog, we reserved a spot in a local imu for our Thanksgiving turkey. The imu (a pit) was at Lokelani Intermediate School here in Kihei (a fundraiser for their school).

Our friend and I dropped off our turkeys yesterday at a set time (between 4:30 and 5:30). They were wrapped with a wire and got a metal tag attached. The fire was blazing, and I guess they waited for the fire to burn down a bit before loading the pit with banana stalks, turkeys and banana leaves.

This morning we followed the strict instructions to show up between 6:30-7am to pick up our turkeys. The school had a pretty organized system going. A turkey brigade to lift the hot turkeys out of the pit (they all wore gloves),

where the turkeys were then laid on tables and grouped by number.

See all the banana leaves that were layered around the turkeys. I think they are to help with the air flow and maybe insulation?


Turkey getting a ride home in the back of our car.


Turkey peek-a-boo.


There it is – the imu-cooked turkey. It is still slightly pink tinged, like when you smoke a bird, but perfectly cooked through. My friend who did this last year too, said it looks like a pale haole (Hawaiian term for white guy – often used in a negative context). Haha. It does. My friend plans to roast his turkey in the oven to crisp the skin and give it some color.


As for our turkey, we aren’t eating til tonight, so I went ahead and carved our 20 pounder and put him in the fridge to be reheated before dinner. I’ll tell you one thing, our guests tonight better come HUNGRY. This is a big bird!


Yes, I had a taste. The meat tastes delicious. I have never had a turkey breast that moist. I was pleasantly surprised that there was some liquids left in all the layers of foil. We had noticed a number of packages lose their juices as they were being lifted out of the imu. It will make a nice addition to the broth I made with the neck for the gravy. Honestly, this was the easiest turkey I’ve ever roasted. No hovering and fussing over it in the oven. I love it! I will definitely plan on doing this again next year!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!