Like last Thanksgiving, we are planning on deep-frying a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. While I prepare the appetizers, sides, and dessert, I let me husband handle the bird logistics. I asked my husband to write up a quick tutorial on how to deep fry a turkey:
Frying a turkey is fun experience that produces an excellent product if done correctly. If done incorrectly, it can be extremely dangerous, so if you decide to fry a turkey, there is a great need to pay very close attention to instructions (not to mention staying sober).
There are multiple warnings on the internet, like this one, but this type of caution is warranted. There are several steps in the process that if done incorrectly can cause a fire or explosion. Remember, you are dealing with oil here, which can be more than 3.0X the temperature of boiling water.
The disaster scenario is that when the turkey is placed in the pot the oil overflows onto the open flames and causes a huge fire, thereby burning you and igniting your house. This is what we want to avoid. So here is how to avoid it.
- When you set up the frying apparatus, do it FAR from any structure. This means outside, not nearby a roof, and not close to anything flammable.
- Make sure the turkey is dry and COMPLETELY defrosted. If it is still even slightly frozen the water will react with the boiling water to explode.
- Don’t fully fill the pot. Remember that the turkey will displace the pot and raise the oil level. You only want to turkey to be covered when it is in- you don’t want an overflow.
- After the oil is preheated, turn the flames OFF! This way, if the oil does overflow, it won’t fall onto the open flames and create an explosion. Once the turkey is safely in the hot oil, then you can re-ignite the flames. While cooking, don’t allow the temperature to get over 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wearing safety googles and being sober while you do this are prerequisites.
Before we started cooking the turkey, we rubbed it with a dry rub mix. We used a mix of Paula Deen’s spice rub and some Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Spice Rub that we had on hand.
Have you ever deep fried a turkey before? Share your favorite turkey cooking tips in the comments!