You can fry a turkey for your holiday meals or any occasion instead of baking or roasting it. However, this cooking technique does require a little more preparation to ensure everyone's safety and avoid the risk of fire or burns. Peanut oil has a high smoking point, which makes it a good choice for frying your bird. The high smoke point allows the oil to become hot enough to quickly cook your turkey without creating smoke or igniting, which could be very dangerous to the chef and the surrounding environment.
Things You'll Need
- Stock pot with fryer basket
- Measuring cup
- Propane burner
- Peanut oil
- Candy thermometer
- Meat thermometer
Place the turkey in a fryer basket and insert it into a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water to completely cover the turkey. Remove the turkey from the pot and measure water in the pot using a large measuring cup. The amount of water in the pot is the amount of peanut oil you will need to fry your turkey.
Set up a propane burner outside on a flat surface, away from your home and any other buildings.
Pour the amount of peanut oil determined into the large, dry stock pot.
Place the stock pot over the propane burner and turn on the burner to begin heating the oil.
Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. The oil is ready when it reaches 375 to 390 degrees F.
Place the turkey inside a large fryer basket or insert a metal hook, called a turkey hanger, into the turkey so you can lower it slowly into the oil.
Lower the turkey into the peanut oil. The oil temperature may drop which is normal and expected.
Adjust the burner to maintain an oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees F while the turkey cooks. It should take approximately 3.5 minutes per pound to cook your turkey completely.
Pull the fryer basket or turkey hanger to remove the turkey from the hot peanut oil and test the internal temperature of the turkey with a meat thermometer. Insert the meat thermometer into the turkey's thigh, avoiding any bones, to obtain an accurate reading. The turkey is fully cooked and safe to eat when it reaches 165 degrees F, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Turn off the propane burner and allow the peanut oil to cool completely before you attempt to dispose of or store the oil
Tips & Warnings
- Season your turkey by applying a dry rub to the skin or injecting marinade into the muscle of the turkey prior to frying.
- Never place a frozen turkey into hot oil. The ice on a frozen turkey will cause the oil to spit and splatter which could lead to burns. Thaw your frozen turkey in a refrigerator, submerged in cool water or in a microwave. Do not thaw it at room temperature as this could allow bacteria to develop and cause foodborne illnesses.
- Photo Credit turkey image by Diane Stamatelatos from Fotolia.com
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