Fried Turkey: the Thanksgiving Main Event

Fried Turkey: the Thanksgiving Main Event


If you’re planning on cooking country style for your Thanksgiving dinner, a deep fried turkey is one of the most flavorful ways to serve your bird.  You may have seen an episode from “The World’s Funniest” TV show where there’s a turkey mishap that leads to some flames, a big mess and a few laughs.   Don’t let the jokes fool you.  Deep-frying a turkey can be dangerous.  Here are some safety precautions you should keep in mind.

Rule #1: Never fry in open toe shoes or Crocs and be sure to wear protective gloves.

Rule #2: Always make sure your turkey is completely thawed and thoroughly dried.

Rule #3: Smaller turkeys are best for frying; a 10-pound bird is perfect.  If you need to feed a lot of people, instead of going for one large 20-pound turkey, cook two smaller ones instead.

Rule #4: Allow three to four minutes of cooking time per pound.  For example, a 10 pound turkey will take about 30 minutes.

Rule #5: Never use a propane unit indoors, in a garage, on a porch or close to your house.  It seems like common sense – but this how most people start fires.

Rule #6:  To test the oil level place the bird in the fryer and fill with water until it reaches one inch below the top of the turkey.  Mark your pot and completely dry it before you start cooking.  If it’s not dry, the oil will start splattering.

Rule #7: Use a high quality cooking oil that has a high smoking point, like canola or peanut.   You want to make sure you pre-heat and cook your turkey with the oil at 350 degrees F.

Rule #8: To see if your turkey is done insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 165 degrees F.  Take it out of the oil and let it rest for 20-25 minutes before serving.


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