How to Fry a Turkey
By Chef Tony Matassa, ShoppersChoice.com, LLC.
Deep Frying your Thanksgiving turkey is a great alternative to traditional oven-baked cooking and can really spice up your holiday meal. There are a number of safety precautions to follow when frying a turkey because you are dealing with very hot oil, propane gas and open-flames. Follow these steps when frying the turkey for your next holiday feast.
THAW 6-8 hours (under running cold water) COOK 3 mins per pound
Things You Will Need
- Whole turkey, 12-14 lbs.
- Turkey fryer kit
- Instant read thermometer
- 3-5 cups cooking oil
- Propane and tank
- Fire extinguisher
- Leather cooking gloves
- Cooking apron
- 1 cup poultry seasoning
- 1 cup marinade
- Turkey injector
- Thoroughly thaw your turkey. Be sure that your turkey is completely defrosted. Ice and hot oil do not mix! Use the chart below to see how long you should to thaw your bird.
- 8-12 pounds.......1-2 days
- 12-16 pounds......2-3 days
- 16-20 pounds......3-4 days
- 20-24 pounds......4-5 days
- 8-12 pounds.......4-6 hours
- 12-16 pounds......6-8 hours
- 16-20 pounds......8-10 hours
- 20-24 pounds......10-12 hours
- Set up your burner. Make sure you set up your burner far away from anything flammable! The burner unit for your turkey fry kit should be set up as far from the propane tank as possible. The burner unit will provide an open flame to heat the oil inside the turkey fry pot. To prevent fire, you should never set the burner up on a wooden deck or inside the garage. The burner unit should only be set up outside and away from all flammable materials.
- Add your oil. Make sure to add the right amount of oil to the fryer. The size of the turkey you are frying will determine how much oil you will need in your turkey fryer. If you have too much oil, this could result in overflowing when you put your turkey in the fry pot. The easiest way to measure the amount of oil you will use is to place the turkey into the pot while the fry pot is empty. Add water until your turkey is covered. Take the turkey out and make note of the water level inside the pot. This is how much oil you will need to fry your turkey. (Before adding oil make sure that the fry pot is completely dry. Remove ALL of the water and wipe the pot dry with a clean, dry towel.) After determining the amount of oil you will need to use and drying the pot, add your oil to the pot and place your pot on your burner. Add your thermometer to the oil then turn on your burner and heat the oil to 375 degrees. (Keep and eye on your oil as it heats. Due to different variables, such as temperature, altitude and humidity, 350 may be too hot. If so, turn your burner down. *Never allow the temperature to exceed 375 degrees*) After your oil reaches 375 degrees, you are ready to deep fry your turkey. Safety is a key ingredient to frying your turkey. It is recommended to keep a dry chemical extinguisher near by.
- Add flavor. Inject and/or marinade your turkey to your liking. Start at the breast with a quality flavor injector. Inject 60 percent of your sauce. Insert the needle into the breast on one side of the turkey and inject some flavoring. Don't go too deep, or else sauce to will leak out the other side. Pull your needle out part way and inject at a different angle. Repeat at several different angles. When you are finished on one side, repeat this process on the other side. Next inject the legs and thighs. Inject 30 percent of your sauce. This should be done similarly to how the breast was injected. Finish with the wings, injecting the remaining 10 percent of your sauce.
- Add your turkey to the pot. Make sure that all the stuffings have been removed from the turkey and your turkey is completely dry, with no water remaining. Turn the burner off before you put your turkey in the pot. Use protective gloves and an apron to protect yourself from any oil that might splash out. Make sure your turkey is very dry, and using the metal hook, slowly and gently lower your turkey into the pot. Do not be alarmed by the intense sounds of the turkey meeting the oil, this is normal. Continue to slowly lower the bird into the oil. Once your turkey is submerged in the oil you can then turn your burner back on to a temperature of 350 degrees, maintaining a temperature of 350 degrees throughout the cooking process. If you see the temperature rising, adjust your burner to keep the temperature at or below 350 degrees.
- Fry your turkey. Always use caution when frying your turkey. You're dealing with fire and very hot oil! Allow 3-4 minutes of frying time for every pound of turkey. As your turkey gets close to being done, it will begin to float in the oil. Once you have reached the calculated cooking time, turn your burner off and remove the entire fry basket. Once the turkey is out, check the internal tempurature with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the turkey should read at least 170 degrees. (If you have not reached this, put the basket back in the fryer and turn your burner back on)
- Let your turkey stand for 30 minutes before carving. Serve, and enjoy!
Refrigerator Thawing Times:
(Allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds)
Cold Water Thawing Times:
(Allow 30 minutes per pound)
Things You May Need
Read more articles by Chef Tony Matassa, ShoppersChoice.com, LLC.