One of the great things about Thanksgiving holidays, besides the tryptophan coma, is that you always know what to cook for dinner. There will be some variation of turkey unless you’re a vegetarian then it’s turkey shaped tofu. One of the most popular ways for us manly men to cook turkeys is to turn off the oven and break out a massive deep fryer.
The problem is deep frying a turkey can be dangerous and, through the years, has caused many serious burns. If you don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving in the ER, then follow these directions.
Preparing a Turkey for Frying
You’re not going to be able to cook a giant turkey in a standard deep fryer. Make sure you purchase one designed to handle a turkey. The last thing we want is hot oil spilling over the top and causing a fire because underestimated the size of the turkey or fryer.
In fact, if your turkey is larger than 15 pounds, then it’s a good idea to cut the legs and thighs off and fry them separately. It doesn’t hurt to be safe. Water and hot oil is a volatile combination, so make sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry it off with paper towels. Take out the giblets and everything else and throw them way. Who eats that stuff anyway?
Frying the Turkey
First, put the turkey in the empty fryer and cover the turkey with water. Mark the water line so you know how much oil to put in the fryer. Completely dry the fryer. Fill the fryer with oil, being careful not to overfill, see rule above about fire. Heat the oil to about 400 degrees and while it’s heating, take the time to season your bird with your preferred spices. The seasoning can be anything you like from simple salt and pepper to injections and marinades.
Slowly and very carefully, lower the turkey into the fryer. If there is any excess moisture on the surface, then there may be some popping, so be careful and wear gloves and safety glasses. The general idea is to let the turkey cook 3-4 minutes for every pound of turkey. When it’s done, place it on a rack with paper towels and let the grease drain…there will be a lot.
The Final Product: A Golden Fried Turkey
A fried turkey has a nice crisp outside and is part of many great turkey supper ideas for Thanksgiving. Once it has drained and cooled, then carve it like you would a standard turkey.
For more great recipes or tips on the perfect turkey, visit www.dadsthatcook.com.