The holiday season is finally here, and the family is excited for the big feast! There is always that one dish you crave for the entire year, but the centerpiece of the table is a juicy turkey. It’s one thing to roast it, but you can make a statement with a turkey deep fried to perfection!
Whether this is your first time cooking a turkey or not, it’s crucial to know the cautions of deep frying a turkey. According to Morrow & Sheppard LLP, fire departments respond to more than 1,000 fires caused by deep fryers. However, that shouldn’t change your mind about frying your turkey. From deep fryer cautions to preparing your turkey, we’ve gathered up some helpful info to help you fascinate your guests with a deep-fried turkey this year!
Most turkey fires start because of the condition of the turkey. You should never deep fry a frozen or partially thawed turkey. Doing so could make the turkey explode and splatter oil everywhere, causing serious burns. To avoid any mishaps, keep these tips in mind:
- Wear protective clothing like gloves and eye protection when dropping in or removing your turkey from that hot oil.
- Isolate your turkey fryer away from guests, buildings, sitting areas and flammable items. Make sure the ground is flat and level. The last thing you want is for your fryer to fall over in the middle of frying.
- Never leave a frying turkey unattended! Remember that no matter how safe you are, you should always prepare for the worst. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an accidental fire.
What You Will Need
Think about how many turkeys you will be cooking and the equipment you will need. Here are some essentials to help get you started:
Think about where you will be cooking. A kitchen is never a safe place for a turkey fryer. The safest place is outdoors. As part of your preparation, you should ensure that all the equipment is functioning well and the turkey you choose will fit into your fryer. Ensure the safety cap is mounted and the drain valve is completely closed on your fryer.
Note where the max fill line is on your fryer and how much oil to use to keep it from overflowing. Stock up on enough oil to fully submerge your turkey. Peanut oil is popular for its high smoke point, neutral flavor and ability to add crispiness. Have a peanut allergy? Try a vegetable oil like sunflower and grapeseed oil. Just make sure whatever oil you use has a high smoke point and is suitable for deep frying.
Frying a frozen turkey will be the nightmare of your life! Proper thawing is crucial before attempting deep frying. Do so by letting the turkey refrigerate for a few days. Allow a day for every 5 pounds of the turkey. Once it’s thawed, clean your bird thoroughly. Remove the neck—and anything else left inside, and pat dry to remove any moisture. Doing so will make a crispy skin!
Since you are deep frying the turkey, the flavors should be inside! So, injecting is strongly encouraged! Prepare a mixture of your favorite seasonings and inject it into your turkey for enhanced flavor. Believe it or not, seasoning your turkey with fewer injections is the best way for juicy and tender meat. Injecting about two teaspoons of marinade in 12 to 15 injections should do. The trick for fewer injections is to move the needle around while injecting the seasoning instead of making extra injections. You can inject your turkey 12 hours before frying—OR, If you want to be an overachiever, let it marinate for about three days before frying!
If you would rather try a different method, dry brining is a good alternative for seasoning a deep-fried turkey. This way, no liquid is involved. Dry brine helps remove some of the moisture on the skin. Mix salt and any spices you like and then rub it onto the turkey. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound. Let it sit for up to 24 hours to allow the salt to distribute evenly and tenderize the meat.
First, make sure your turkey comes to room temperature. Allow it to sit for an hour after taking it out of the fridge.
You may wonder, “how long does it take to fry a turkey?” The golden number is typically about 3 to 5 minutes per pound. However, it’s best to rely on the temperature. Use a digital thermometer or a thermometer with an alarm that can alert you when the turkey reaches 165℉. Bonus tip: The most accurate temperature is from the inner thigh, wing and the thickest part of the breast! Take necessary precaution and lower the turkey into the hot fryer.
Check out this printable chart to determine how long you should deep-fry your turkey:
There’s nothing wrong with cooking a turkey in the oven for hours—that could also be extra time to enjoy your family’s company during the holidays. Just make sure to set a timer and frequently check on your bird. If you decide to deep-fry your turkey this year, maybe you will find this guide to be a good help!
If you’ve experienced a turkey fire and sustained damage, you may need to file an insurance claim to cover the damages. Don’t have property insurance? Contact your local Alfa® agent to get the coverage you need today.