Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to Fry a Turkey

...safely. As Brian said, "leave it to Louisiana to come up with the most dangerous way to celebrate the holidays" haha. Follow us and our adventure...

We decided to embark on unknown territory when Brian was offered a turkey fryer to borrow. We've never done this before, never tasted the results before...and are really generally just completely ignorant to the whole turkey frying process. So we googled it. This is how we did it, taking in advice from many many sites, and combining all the helpful tips into one post:-)

1. Turkey Fryer (with thermometer and injector)
2. 3+ Gallons of peanut oil (we needed 4 gallons)
3. A turkey, no bigger than 14lbs (ours was 13.5)
4. Propane tank
A few pointers...#1: Don't be an idiot. Do this outside. This goes without saying perhaps, but I guess you never know. #2: Peanut oil is not cheap. I got 3 gallons in a large bucket at walmart for $29.99. I texted my dear hubby and said "this is going to be the most expensive turkey in the WORLD". I'm a cheapskate, so the cost of the ordeal is perhaps a bit of a deterrent. In the end we were lacking enough oil to cover the bird, so had to buy 1 more gallon. cha-ching. I will now be deep frying everything in sight to get my money's worth out of that oil. Using peanut oil is preferred, as it has a very high smoking point, thereby requiring less monitoring than using another type of oil.
Prepare your bird!! Tip #3: Oil and water do not mix, as you well know. Have a completely thawed bird, about 18-24 hrs in advance, inject the bird all over (into the meat) with a marinade. Let it sit until you need it, you will want a completely thawed, DRY and room temperature bird, so plan accordingly.

I was looking online for what to inject the bird with, and had some trouble coming up with recipes that did not include the words Cajun or Creole or that didn't use red wine. Only because I wanted something simple that I could make with ingredients I already had at the house. I found this recipe through a link on eHow, and it was delicious. I made it twice, 'cause Brian thought it needed more.

1/2C chicken broth
2T butter
1T lemon juice
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t finely ground pepper
salt to taste
*Melt butter in small saucepan, add all other ingredients, except the salt. Mix well. Add salt until it has a slightly salty flavour. Load into meat injector.

This was delicious!

Tip #4: Rig up your turkey "hook" onto a broom handle. As it says online, "this is when most people catch on fire". So yah, when lowering the turkey into the pot, have good control and stay back as far as you can. Even with a dry room temp turkey, it pops and sizzles like you would not believe.
Tip#5: Displacement. Put the turkey in the pot. Fill the pot with oil until the bird is just covered. Remove the bird. Heat the oil, and replace when it's ready. This will insure that you don't over flow the oil with the displacement the bird causes.

We heated the oil up to 375 (which took about a hour or a little less), and then put the bird in, and tried to get it back up to 350 to maintain that heat. You generally cook the turkey for 3min per pound, we added a couple minutes on to the end of the cooking time, as we lost about 100 degrees putting the turkey in, and it took longer than we thought it should to get it back up to temp. When lowering the bird in the oil TURN OFF THE GAS. Then lower it slowly, inch by inch, sometimes bobbing it back up a little, until its submerged. Then turn the gas back on when you are done.

When you are ready to take it out, TURN OFF THE GAS. Bring it up slowly and let it drip off.
Yum! We all have to agree, that this was far and away the most phenomenal turkey ever! It was so tender and juicy and perfect!...not greasy or oily as you might expect. We think we'll save that oil and do another one at Christmas!!


  1. Sounds like it would be easier to throw that bird in the oven. LOL
    On the other hand, it sounds good and worth a try. Once you have the hang of it, then it wouldn't seem like as much work I guess, just more expensive. I know someone who used the same gadget for canning their preserves outside so the house didn't get so hot! I could also see it working for cooking corn on the cob. I think you got your cheap skate gene from me. I'd want lots of uses out of that thing if I am going to store it all year! LOL

  2. It was a little more work, but yes, once you have the hang of it (ie:next time) it will go faster as we won't be humming and hawwwwing about each step of the process. And it tastes REALLY good, so that does make it worth the try too. But yah, I nearly had a heart attack at the price of the oil! Thankfully, we aren't storing the fryer...we just borrowed it for the holidays, so I won't have to figure out where to put it!