Deep Fried Turkey

Turkeys are fabulous birds. The veritable little black dress of the Thanksgiving scene, turkeys are practically perfect in every way.

Frying a turkey will require a special piece of equipment called a turkey fryer (see below for more details), but with the proper equipment and a little patience, you’re ready for a feast! Surprisingly, fried turkeys won’t be greasy, but moist and flavorful.

While I saw a lot of turkeys meeting with fryers on Thanksgiving in Texas, the idea is certainly not exclusive to the South.

Tips: Smaller birds fry better than larger ones, so sticking to a turkey 15 pounds or less is important. Do not stuff a turkey that is to be fried.

Safety is incredibly important when frying a turkey. Burns and fires are not uncommon when dealing with gallons of hot oil and a heat source (especially propane), so use caution.

Place the fryer outside on a level surface and away from breezes.

Keep kids and pets away from the fryer, and never leave hot oil or fryer unsupervised.

Do not dispose of oil until cooled completely.

Fried Turkey
Thawed or fresh turkey (15 pounds or less)
3.5-5 gallons oil with a high smoke point (canola, peanut or corn oil)
Breading or an herb/spice rub (optional)

To determine the amount of oil needed, submerge the turkey in the fryer basket. Fill the fryer with water until the turkeyis immersed by 2-3″. Carefully remove the turkey, and note the level of liquid. You will need this much oil. Discard water and dry the pot completely to avoid splattering.

In fryer, heat oil to between 350 -375 degree F (this might take up to 30 minutes).

Remove any plastic from the turkey (including pop-up timers and any clamps) and any giblets/innards. Wash the turkey thoroughly, and pat dry with paper towels. Dry rub the turkey with spices if desired.

Keep turkey refrigerated until ready to fry.

Since the oil is already hot, turn the heat down slightly. Using a hook, slowly and carefully lower the turkey into the fryer, leg end up. Increase heat to the fryer again once the turkey is inserted as it is important to maintain heat. Fry the turkey for about 3 minutes per pound. Because is easy to over-fry a bird, it is better to test for doneness rather than make a guess and end up with a rubber bird. To test for doneness, move turkey to a paper-towel lined tray and take temperature in the densest part of the bird. If the temperature registers below 170 degrees, place the turkey back into the pil for 3-5 more minutes.
Remove from the oil and allow to rest for up to 20 minutes. Carve.

This fryer link is one example of a turkey fryer (this one is a 30 quart fryer which retails for roughly $69.99). While sizes vary, fryers tend to come with the same equipment.

1. The aluminum stockpot. This is usually made from aluminum.
2. The outdoor gas stove. This is usually propane.
3. Hook. This important tool is used to lower the turkey into the oil when no basket exists. Usually, a fryer that doesn’t come with a basket will come with a hook.
4. Basket. Like many deep fryers, a basket may be included as the means to keep the turkey from touching the bottom of the pot and burning. If using a basket instead of a hook, make sure to adjust the turkey’s position occasionally while cooking for even doneness. Follow instructions for safety.
5. Thermometer. This tests the heat of the oil in the pot.
6. Injector. This is generally a means of adding mosture to the bird. Because oil tends to splatter in the presence of water, brining is generally a riskier proposition. The injector is a means of still botoxing the bird with brine, but without the burns.



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  1. Hey Jamie! You could have linked to my site for this article:

    It’s older. but still…I’m just sayin’!

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