thought experiment

Would You Eat a Hot Cheetos Turkey?

Photo: Reynolds Kitchens

Would you eat a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos–covered turkey? It’s an interesting question. I ask because on Friday ABC-7 syndicated a recipe from Reynolds Kitchens (which is the recipe website of the Reynolds brand) for “Hot Turkey in an Oven Bag” (which is a turkey covered in a thick coating of ground up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos [or as they write, “hot puffed cheese sticks”] and cooked in an oven bag). Of course, Twitter talked about it very much:

You must admit: It is an idea.

“Kick up the flavor for your next Thanksgiving turkey with these popular chip flavored turkeys,” says Reynolds Kitchens at the top of their recipe, obscuring whether they mean that the chip-flavored turkeys are popular or whether they mean that the chips themselves are popular. Very clever. They offer two additional turkey chip recipes. The first calls for “ranch-flavored corn chips” and the second for “onion-flavored rings.” Mm, mmm.

But would you eat it (the Cheetos one)?

I’ll tell you this — the Hot Cheetos Turkey comes at an opportune time for me. Just this past weekend I had an eye-opening experience regarding Hot Cheetos when I went to see Widows, which is a movie I recommend very highly. For my movie treat I got the “Cheetos Popcorn,” which is popcorn covered in Cheetos dust with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos mixed in. It was absolutely incredible. Perhaps the best popcorn I have ever experienced. It caused me to say, during the popcorn-eating experience, that Cheetos topping should be included in more food items. And now here it is — exactly what I wished for: the Hot Cheetos Turkey.

But would I eat it?

It’s a difficult question. Maybe it would be best to first consult Stella Bugbee, president and editor-in-chief of the Cut.

“Personally, I would not eat it,” she said. Okay, fine. “It looks BAD,” she said. Okay, okay, fine. “Using HOT CHEETOS as a condiment is basically admitting that it’s just colorful chemical salt.” Okay, okay, okay. “I prefer to think of the Cheetos as solid forms,” Bugbee concluded. Okay, so — I will put her down as a maybe.

News editor Callie Beusman said, “I think turkey is already too dry!! No need to make it dustier.” Hm. Senior health writer Katie Heaney said, “Now I am going to put Hot Cheetos on top of my green bean casserole instead of fried onions.” A maverick. Senior fashion editor Diana Tsui said, quite bravely, “I … would eat that.”

But would I eat it? Hm. Here is my main issue with the Hot Cheetos turkey: I’m not sure how much Hot Cheetos flavor you’re going to get with just a Hot Cheetos crust. I think the result would be like if you cooked a turkey with no real seasoning and then spilled some Cheeto on your plate by accident, not that I am a chef. Personally, I would maybe try to mix some of the dust with butter and shove it under the skin, not to be gross, and then I would make a Cheetos stuffing and shove it into the stuffing hole, not to be biologically inaccurate. I think that might work a little better.

The next issue, though, I guess, is whether Cheetos and turkey is a good flavor combination, and that answer is: no. Unfortunate, but, yes, I have to say I believe the answer is: no. That sounds very bad. Even though, as you know, I recently had that very good Cheetos popcorn that I loved.

So, would I eat it? The answer is:

Of course I would! But would you? Please fill out this form, bring it to your Thanksgiving dinner, and compare with your family. Thank you!

Would You Eat a Hot Cheetos Turkey?