Frying Turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bernie, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Ok, this may seem like a silly question here. When you deep fry a turkey, how do you know when it's done? I have never done one. In the over, you either have the therm probe or those high-tech plastic gold tees that pop up when the turkey is ready. I don't think the golf tees would work in the fryer, what about the probes? Would you just leave the probe in the whole time? I have never heard anything bad about deep frying a turkey, only good stuff and have always wanted to do it. Maybe this is the year to look at a turkey fryer.
  2. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Before starting, place your turkey in the pot, fill with enough water to cover the turkey.... remove the bird and mark the water line.
    Fill with oil to the water line.....You won't have a boil over.

    Like the others, I also strain and reuse the oil.
    They are soooo tasty. [​IMG]
  3. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just use my little pocket instant read thermometer. Pull the turkey up out of the oil a bit and check with the thermo.
    They usually take 3 minutes per lb but I check anyway to make sure.
  4. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    i think the main advantage of frying the turkey is the speed you can cook it, less than an hour and yes it makes the best turkey. when the frying thing started the oil was not near what they want for it now, its way harder to spend that much on the peanut oil no way.
  5. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just be sure to completely dry the bird and wipe out all of the water in your fryer, if not then you will get lots of popping and cracking and bits of hot oil exploding from the water, don't want anyone to have a bad experience because of a little mistake like that.

    You can also get big jugs of oil from places like Sams and Costco too I would imagine. If you know someone who works in a restaurant you could always get some oil from them most likely at a cheap price.
  6. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

    Done properly, frying a turkey is no more dangerous than any other form of cooking with open flame or fire. As has been mentioned before, place the turkey in the fryer & cover with water to get the proper amount of oil & prevent boiling over. Be sure to sit the turkey upright afterwards so the water drains from the cavity then pat the skin dry. Coating with oil will also help avoid the oil popping & splattering when you place the turkey in the hot oil. Make sure the fryer has a large heavy duty burner & a sturdy base.

    Be sure to wear a long oven mitt or welder's glove when SLOWLY lowering the turkey into the hot oil. If you have a helper, you can run a broom handle thru the "hanger" then you don't have your arm over the hot oil.

    If you get the oil to the right temp & cook about 3.5 mins per pound, the bird will be done. A good & properly calibrated long stem thermometer is necessary to keep from letting the oil get too hot & burning.

    Peanut oil is expensive but hold up for multiple cookings. My cooker takes about 4 gals of oil for a 12-15 lb turkey. I will fry several turkeys during the Thanksgiving - Christmas season. I strain the oil & refrigerate between cookings. The oil will keep for several months refrigerated. It can be frozen & kept longer. I normally have to add 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon of new oil after cooking several turkeys. After the initial oil purchase, you are buying less that a gallon/year if you store the old oil properly. So if you are frying 4-5 turkeys per year, the cost of the extra oil is about the same as you would spend on charcoal & wood chunks.
  7. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have 2 el cheapo's, $25 or so on sale. Works good enough for me,it's the pot I change. I went to a Rest. Supply and got a (used) stock pot. They have any size you need and last MUCH longer...[​IMG]
    And , yes the flavor is not in the infrared unit. The hot oil is the difference
    (a friend has one).
    When you get ready to fry the Turkey,do a volume measure first. Put enough water in the pot to just cover the Turkey.You'll have to wash the bird off anyhow, so use the pot in this step.
    Mark the level on the outside(grease pencil,tape,scratch-whatever) and fill with oil to that mark when ready to fry.This prevents overflow fires when you immerse the Bird in the hot oil.
    Make sure you have a 'GOOD' lifter and are holding on well as you lower it, slowly, into the Fryer. Do this slowly as you need your oil to be 360* to 370*F(this will help compensate for the temp. drop when the Turkey is added)and adjust to stay at 350*F during the cook(watch it carefully-like driving,no drinking here,too dangerous).
    Cook the bird for 3min./lb.,the thighs IMT should be 160*F,the breast will be perfect.Do the same for Breast and bring to 160*F.
    Good luck and
    Stan aka Old School
    When you
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Jump on the boat Brother, as soon as your neighbors see how delicious it is, they will be wanting to have you do thiers,Barter for part of the bird or other meat or do it just as a friend. The rewards are good enough,as a former restauranter you know this.LOL
    Yeah, I know-New Mexico! But now they can have a choice.Heck pay for shipping and I'll send you one fo mine.Besides, think of all the other stuf you can experiment with?
    Later Buddy.
    Have fun.
  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I too have never used an infared red or oiless frier so I'm not your guy for that. Now fring a turkey I have done enough that I don't get burned or have overflows with the oil. If you want a recommandation on a turkey fryer set up K-mart had one years ago (so check sears now) where the pot had a spicket on the side you will learn to love that option very quickly. So look for that model and get two so you can use them for crawfish and crab boils and clam bakes and stuff like that too.
  11. I love my turkey fryer...picked it up @ Target a few years ago, and the oil should only cost about $20 for the five gallon jug (just picked up a jug at Menard's for $19.95). You don't need premium stuff, but you do need peanut oil for the high smoke point. Plan on cooking it a little longer than the suggested 5 minutes a pound. Brining is also a good thing, but you can inject as well. Also, be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby (just in case. I've never needed it.) and have leather work gloves that fit over your wrists to protect your hands (I have welder's gloves). Regular gloves may not be heavy enough. Most fryers have lines on the pot that show the maximum level the oil can be at, and do not go over that line. One last bit is to be sure your burner is properly operating when you fire it. I tend to forget to purge the air from the line and have learned to listen to the tone of the fire to know whether it's heating properly. Good thing that first year we had another turkey in the oven because I couldn't get the oil temp high enough. Live and learn, and enjoy that great fried turkey. I like it even better than smoked.
  12. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well I just never wanted to pay $35 for the oil to fry it in. I actually have a double burner camp stove for brewing and a pot big enough to fry in.

    I'm sure they are good and tasty. I eat very little fried food is another reason also for health reasons.

    I usually get a bird for less than 10 dollars here and can't see spending $35 dollars for the oil and the cleanup mess, it might remind me of the restaurant.[​IMG]

    Oh, I don't have any neighbors either. [​IMG]

    To each his own I guess.[​IMG]

    I am glad you enjoy yours man, more power to ya.
  13. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  14. cajunsmoke13

    cajunsmoke13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's the only way I do mine, deep fried. I don't worry about the cost. To me it's well worth it and to have it done in less than an hour, nice...take all the advice on here and read up and you should have no problems. Bring the oil up to temp slowly...Wear long sleeve shirts or use long oven mitts...Some awesome tasting turkey...I.M.O.
  15. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    A little healthy and cost saving tip!
    *Instead of using peanut oil use cottonseed oil..
    Cheaper, handles high heat and less fat and cholesterol than peanut oil.
  16. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have cooked probably 50 of these. I use a bayou classic ( ) cooker and I really like it. They sell all the pots. Go to your local propane dealer or Lowes I think also handles these and theyw ill order it for you. The Banjo cooker has a 10 inch burner which is over kill unless you use it on other things. I boil crawfish and Peanuts 10 or so times a year so I get a lot of use.

    As far as cooking the turkey goes, the biggest safety issue is that people put too much oil in the pot and dont take into acount that the turkey once in the pot will make the HOT oil rise and overfill the pot causing a fire...

    My trick is this.
    I wash the turkey and putr it in the pot (No heat and cold water) and fill the pot with water until its cover the turkey by 1/2 inch. Pull the turkey out of the water and what is left is the amount of oil needed. Just mark the water level in the pot with a pencil, sharpie, I scratch mine with a knife, nail etc...Pour out the water and dry the pot, fill with oil to your mark and you will not over fill the pot. Also dry teh turkey as much as possible and just lower it down real slow.....

    I think this is the best way to cook a turkey, injected or not its the best....Dont cook in your garage and away from the house....good luck and let us know if you cook it and how you do it..
  17. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I brine the turkey overnight in Travcoman45's Slaughter House Brine heres a link to the brine recipe
    Then I rinse the bird well dry it off apply rub or seasonings and into the smoker I spritz after the first hour and a half and each hour after when the bird reaches about 135 I fire up the fryer and let it heat up. When the bird hits 140 internal I take it out of the smoker and put it onto the fryer stand and when the oil hits 350 I lower the turkey in slowly. I don't have a set time for how long it takes I kinda just look at it and when I think its done take it out and take a temp reading if its done good if not it goes back in for a few more minutes
  18. zjaybird

    zjaybird Meat Mopper

    I have only had 2 turkey fryers, so my opinion is limited. I bought one of the cheap ones and it worked great, but I saw one at Sears(on clearance), which is what I use now and will NEVER go back. This one has a spickot to help drain the oil. The old one you had to dump.....the spickot really saves on the back and the clean up....just my 2 cents there
  19. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've got one that the top 5 inches are a larger diameter than the rest of the pot. It's come in handy. Gives the extra oil a place to go if you have a little too much in to start with. If you see one of these they are nice to have and the extra room works.
  20. zjaybird

    zjaybird Meat Mopper

    I always thought that the turkey will start to float when it is done. That is the theory I have always gone with and I have never had a bird that was not done. Knocking on wood, with fingers crossed

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