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So you've decided to do the "trendy" thing and deep fry your butter ball this year. The first step in your mission is likely to scour the web searching out advice on exactly how to deep fry a turkey. While you are sure to come across many tales of woe. Homes burning to the ground. Pippin hot oil flying out of a the pot, scalding the flesh off of an in-experienced home fry cook. Exploding pots resulting in shrapnel plummeting into an unsuspecting fluffles sleeping near by. Don't be discouraged! A properly deep-fried turkey can be a thing of wonder. Key word "properly".
It can be an incredibly dangerous task if done improperly. So before we jump into a guide on how to deep fry your turkey, lets discuss how not to deep fry your turkey. Knowing the main things to avoid are key in avoiding bodily injury to you or your in-laws who may be hovering near by providing "tips" on how to "do it right".
Do not use a frozen bird or a bird that is too cold. "Almost thawed" is not good enough. If even so much as a thy of your bird is still crispy cold, you could be asking for a hot meets cold disaster. Thaw the bird in the fridge for the required amount of time before dropping it in the oil.
The last thing you want to do is violently force a giant dead fowl into a bubbling pot of oil. This will not work. If your bird is too big for your pot. Heat up the oven, and tell everyone "it will be a while". Trust me, its better to simply wait a little longer than risk losing your eyebrows or reproductive organs over a crispy turkey leg.
All oils are not created equal. If you use a frying oil that has a too low of a smoking point, you risk the whole pot going up in flames. If you use an oil that is old and has been used too many times, you also risk the oil going up in flames. I suggest getting a brand spanking new jug of peanut oil for the task of deep-frying your turkey. It has a high smoking point, lowering your risk of creating a giant molotov cocktail in the back yard.
Deep frying a turkey is an out-door activity. It should never be attempted indoors for any reason what so ever. Is there a tornado headed your way? Violent lighting storm? Lava falling from the sky? Yep, you still need to fry that bird outside. If weather prevents you from doing so, then don't fry your turkey. Period.
Now onto the section on how to fry your turkey. It's really quite straight forward.
First - purchase a turkey frying pot and kit. Don't use some "make shift" concoction you found in the back of a garage, and follow the instruction on how to set it up by the manufacturer.
The, heat the oil in your turkey frying pot to about 325°F and no higher than 350°F. It should take about 20 to 30 minutes to do so. Once the oil is the correct temp, place the bird in the basket or on the turkey hanger and slowly lower it into the pot.
Then, let the turkey fry! Don't move it around, poke at it or tip it around. Let it be.
You can estimate about three minutes per pound to cook. Remove turkey and check the temperature with a meat thermometer when you feel it could be done. The temperature should reach 170° F. in the breast and 180° F. in the thigh.
That's it! You have just fried a turkey!!!
I like to then season mine by dusting it with various spice rubs before serving, but that's up to you and the flavor you are going for.
You can find more of my Thanksgiving recipes and tips here.