Deep Fried Turkey
Have you ever tried fried turkey? Man it’s good! It comes out so tender. And the heat from the oil sears in the juices making it very moist. A bird cooked in your turkey fryer is a great change of pace for that Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Deep fried turkey can be dangerous to cook though. If you don’t pay attention and lower the turkey into the oil carefully, the oil can boil over and contact the flame of the burner. This can quickly turn into a fire. So be sure to be careful while deep frying your turkey. Keep a fire extinguisher close by just in case. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands from the popping oil and the heat of the pot. Use a thermometer to help you keep the temperature of the cooking oil regulated.
Never leave the cooker unattended. Pay attention to your surrounding and don’t allow any horseplay around the cooker. Keep children away from the cooker as they often don’t realize the dangers as they play. A small child can easily get burned and/or knock the cooker over. And the last thing you want to spend a holiday doing is taking someone to the emergency room because you weren’t paying attention while frying that Thanksgiving turkey; especially a child. Please don’t let message of the dangers discourage you from trying to fry a turkey. It can be a very safe operation as long as you do it right and pay attention. Now we’ll move on to how to deep fry a turkey.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much oil to use for the size of the cooker and the size of your turkey.
Your seasoning is really up to you, but below is what I used. The seasonings I use and their amounts can be adjusted to your taste. This is what I use.
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 bottle of Tony Chachere’s injectable marinade, roasted garlic and herb
Fill the turkey injector with Tony Chachere’s injectable marinade and begin to inject the turkey. It will likely take the entire bottle to do a turkey. Inject the marinade into every part of the turkey several times; drumsticks, thighs, wings, and making sure to put a little extra in the breast.
Next coat the entire turkey with the garlic powder making sure you get the inside of the cavity. Then repeat with the salt and pepper. Rub it in if desired.
Then insert the frying prongs into the back of the turkey so that the end you will grab with the hook comes out the cavity between the drumsticks. Be sure the prongs on the back end of the turkey are positioned so the will hold the turkey securely. Cover turkey and let sit at room temperature while you heat the oil in the turkey fryer.
Light the burner of the turkey fryer as per manufacturer’s instructions. (Ignite your lighter and hold it to the burner before you turn on the gas.) Let the oil in the turkey fryer reach a temperature of 325 degrees. Now you’re ready to slowly lower the turkey into the oil.
Insert the hook provided with your turkey cooker into the loop at the top of the prong that you inserted into the turkey earlier. Make sure you are wearing oven mitts or cooking gloves. Using the hook, lift the turkey and begin to slowly insert the turkey into the hot oil. The key here is slowly. If you lower the turkey too fast, the oil will likely boil over the side creating a dangerous situation. If the oil overflows and reaches the burner a fire can ignite quickly and cause serious injuries. Make sure your fire extinguisher is within easy reach.
Lower the turkey slowly, stopping when the oil seems to want to boil up. Hold the turkey there until the oil calms down and continue lowering slowly until the turkey is submerged in the oil and cooking. The oil should be boiling steadily, but not boiling near the top where it could boil over. When you are certain the oil is boiling in a consistent and safe manner. Remove the hook used to lower the turkey and replace the lid of the turkey cooker and watch the thermometer. The thermometer should return to 325 degrees. Make sure it maintains close to this temperature, adjusting the flame of the burner as needed. Never leave the cooker unattended and keep a watch on the temperature.
Cook the turkey based on its weight. Cook 3 and a half minutes per pound. For example, a 15 pound fried turkey will take 53 to 55 minutes to fully cook. When the time is up, with your cooking mitts on, remove the lid of the turkey fryer, insert the hook into the loop of the prongs and easily lift the fried turkey up and out of the oil. Hold the turkey over the turkey fryer to let the excess oil drain off the bird. Then place the turkey into a pan.
Take your deep fried turkey inside and let stand for 10 minutes. The remove the prong, carve and serve with your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving turkey either. Fried turkey makes a great meal year round. Remember to be safe while frying turkey and enjoy!