How to Cook Chicken in an Indoor Turkey Fryer

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Indoor turkey fryers have become popular household appliances since deep-fried turkeys have started appearing on Thanksgiving menus across the country. These fryers can also be used throughout the year to cook chicken, buffalo wings, or other fried foods. Cooking chicken in an indoor turkey fryer is not the easiest task, largely because of the danger involved in heating large amounts of cooking oil. Always observe proper safety precautions and follow the instructions included with your fryer.

Things You'll Need

  • Whole chicken
  • Indoor turkey fryer with oil thermometer
  • Peanut oil
  • Paper towels
  • Knife
  • Seasonings
  • Cooking gloves
  • Meat thermometer
  • Baking pan
  • Carving knife

Fill your fryer with peanut oil. Since deep fryers vary, use the amount specified by your fryer. Turn the machine on and set the temperature dial to 350 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Make sure it is completely dry before you put it in the fryer. Using a sharp knife, make a small slit in the skin between the thigh and the leg on both sides of the turkey.

Season the chicken generously with whatever spices you desire. Plain salt and pepper work well, but you can also use cajun seasoning, poultry seasoning, or seasoning salt.

Put on a pair of thick gloves. Place your chicken on the fryer's hook or skewer and slowly lower the chicken into the hot oil. Lower your chicken as slowly and carefully as possible. Some fryers have different lowering mechanisms, so follow the instructions.

Monitor the oil temperature closely. The temperature will decrease slightly when you add the chicken, so adjust the temperature controls as necessary to keep the oil at 350 degrees F.

Fry the chicken for 7 to 9 minutes per pound. Longer cooking times will result in crispier chicken. After the specified time has elapsed, put on your gloves and raise the chicken carefully.

Insert a meat thermometer into the fleshy part of the chicken. It is done when the thermometer reads 165 degrees F. If the chicken is not done, lower it back into the oil for 5 to 10 minutes. If it is done, remove it from the frying hook.

Place the chicken on a stack of paper towels layered in a baking pan. Let the chicken cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Carve the chicken and enjoy. Let the oil cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cleaning the fryer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Exercise extreme caution when using a deep fryer. Never leave the fryer unattended and always move carefully when you are anywhere near the oil. Unplug the fryer immediately if the oil begins to smoke. It's a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
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