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How to Safely Deep-Fry A Turkey

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Wed, Nov 25, 2015


"A picnic shelter can be a great place for family and friends to gather and eat turkey on Thanksgiving"

Do you like a Thanksgiving turkey that's both moist and crisp-skinned? Well, if you do, you may want to think about putting this year's turkey into a deep fryer. It's a relatively easy process that can be done in your own kitchen. I love thinking about eating those leftover turkey sandwiches a couple days after Thanksgiving, don't you? This week's post explains how to safely deep-fry a turkey that you and your family can enjoy.

Gathering Your Supplies

Of course, the most important item necessary for deep-frying a turkey is the turkey itself! Make sure that your turkey is thoroughly thawed before deep-frying it. If you intend to purchase a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving, you'll need to plan ahead so it has plenty of time to thaw. The next item you'll need is a deep fryer. Some deep fryers are very large and can be used outside, while other, smaller models are perfect for a kitchen countertop: Make sure you've got one big enough for your bird. I like the convenience of a deep fryer that fits on my kitchen counter. Other items you need include a supply of peanut oil, a pair of protective gloves, a platter, a deep pan, and whatever seasoning you'd like.

The Steps of Deep-Frying a Turkey

First, check the drain valve on your deep fryer to make sure it's closed and the device is ready to use. Next, take the frying basket out of the device and pour oil into the deep fryer until it reaches the maximum fill line. Plug in the fryer and set the temperature at 375 degrees to heat the oil. Many of today's countertop deep fryers have an indicator light that lets you know when the oil is hot. Put your thawed turkey into a deep pan in the kitchen sink and immerse it in warm water. A warm-water bath helps to eliminate any stray pieces of ice that may be hiding inside the bird. After a few minutes of soaking, take the turkey out and place it on a clean, dry towel. With another clean towel, thoroughly dry both the inside and outside of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning over the entire bird, and put it into the fryer basket. Grasp the handles of the fryer basket and lower it into the 375-degree oil. It takes about four minutes to fry one pound of turkey, so the total frying time will depend on the size of your turkey. As an example, it should take 56 minutes to fry a 14-pound turkey. Most countertop deep fryers have a timer you can use to monitor your bird. When the timer goes off, put on your protective gloves and grasp the handles on the basket to lift it out of the oil. Most fryers allow you to suspend your turkey above the hot oil so it can drain for a few minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the interior temperature of the turkey in the thickest part of the thigh is at least 155 degrees. (The temperature will rise a bit more, ensuring perfectly cooked meat, as the turkey rests.)

Mistakes to Avoid When Deep-Frying a Turkey

Overfilling the deep fryer with oil is a common mistake when trying to fry a Thanksgiving turkey. Filling the fryer to the maximum fill line prevents displaced oil from flowing over the top of the fryer when the turkey is lowered into it. Another common mistake is putting a partially thawed turkey into the fryer. As the turkey cooks, the ice inside the bird melts and can create an overflow of oil that can be a serious hazard. Many people receive burns on their fingers and hands while dealing with a deep fryer. This can be avoided by wearing protective gloves.

Try a new way of preparing your turkey for this year's Thanksgiving celebration. Who knows? It may turn into a popular family tradition. Thanks for reading! - Alan


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