For many years people have been preparing their holiday bird in many ways trying to find the perfect recipe to please the whole family. One method that many have turned to is frying the turkey. It sears in the juices and leave a crunchy skin. This method, however, can be dangerous and causes many accidents each year.
According to a report released this month by the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryers as a group are involved in about 1,000 home fires each year, causing an average of 57 injuries, or nearly twice the injury rate of any other type of cooking fire.
Further, each deep-fryer fire causes an average of $14,500 in property damage, or nearly three times that of any other form of cooking fire.
This article will hopefully educate you on tips and methods to start or continue a tradition in a safe way.
10 Steps on how to prepare and cook:
Start first by removing neck and giblets from cavity. Also remove pop-up timer and wire or plastic truss that holds legs in place. Make sure the bird is completely thawed and pat dry inside and out.
1)Season the turkey. Begin by sprinkling your seasoning of choice over the top of the bird and around the legs, rubbing it in as you go. Then turn it on its side, sprinkle more seasoning and rub it in. Completely turn the turkey over upside down before sprinkling and rubbing the underside. Continue until the entire body has been well covered and rubbed.
2)Make the metal handle. This method is recommended if you do not have a deep frying basket. Place the turkey on its shoulders (where the head would be) and begin to spear the wire through it, just underneath the breast and by the wings. Carefully pull the wire through and loop the wire around about three times to make a metal handle. Twist the ends of the wire around your handle so there are no sharp ends. It is very important to do a little test to make sure that your handle is totally secure when lifting up the turkey. Only when you are convinced that the handle is strong enough should you move onto the next step.
3)Prepare the burner. The frying of the turkey must be done outside, in a dry and well ventilated area and not near anything flammable. Set the gas burner on a level surface because this is one of the safest options so that the fryer doesn't tip over. Keep the propane tank as far away from the fryer as possible and make sure it is not on, under or near any flammable materials. When not set up properly, a deep fryer can explode. Please read the instructions that came with your fryer.
4)Prepare the oil level. Fill the pot halfway with water. Then roughly half fill the bucket with water, which should represent the same weight as your turkey. Place the bucket into the pot to make sure the water does not go past the top of the bucket; it should be at least 5 or 6 inches below the rim. If it is too high, then discard some of the water. The water line will represent the quantity of oil you will need, so make a note of it. Remove the bucket and tip away the water from the pot.
5)Dry the pot. It is extremely important to thoroughly wipe the pot dry with some kitchen roll. You must not leave any water in the pot as hot oil and water can be a very dangerous combination.
6)Add the oil. Pour the oil into the pot to the level where the water was. You should have somewhere between 3-5 inches of oil in the pot. Light your gas burner to a high setting and place the pot carefully down onto the burner plate. Place the thermometer into the oil and allow the oil to heat to a temperature of 350 °F (175 °C). The time it takes to heat to cooking temperatures varies. The outside temperature and conditions can heat oil to dangerous levels quickly. Consider protective apron, gloves and goggles.
7)Check the temperature. Once the oil has reached 350 °F (175 °C), you're ready to fry. Make sure you have on your protective gloves and jacket when handling the turkey or working around the hot oil. With the metal hook attached to the wire loop handle of your turkey, lower the turkey with extreme care into the hot oil. Even with the bird patted dry, there will be a violent reaction when it hits the hot oil. Do this very slowly and be aware of any hot splashing oil. It is strongly recommended to turn off the burner while the turkey is being submerged, then to turn it back on once the turkey is in. Boiled over oil hitting the burner is the cause of most accidents.
8)Fry the turkey. Allow 3-4 minutes of cooking for every 500g grams (1lb). Monitor the temperature by leaving a candy thermometer in the oil (hung from a copper wire) as the turkey cooks. Never leave the hot oil unattended during the cooking process! When the bird is dropped and the fluids begin to cook out, the boiling off of these fluids tends to cool the oil, after which the oil temperature may tend to rise. Halfway through the cooking process, check to see how the turkey is doing by briefly lifting it out of the pot, again using the metal hook attached to the wire handle. Then lower it back into the pot for the rest of the cooking period. If oil begins to smoke at any time, or if it begins to rise adjust the burner and lower the heat.
9)Finish the frying. Once the turkey begins to float to the top of the oil, allow it cook for an additional 15 minutes. Once cooked, carefully remove your turkey from the pot, give it a little shake to disperse the excess oil and transfer it back onto its platter. Check the internal temperature with the meat thermometer. The temperature should be at least 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), but preferably 170 degrees F (77 degrees C) in the breast and 180 degrees F (82 degrees C) in the thigh
10)Turn off the flame. Let the oil cool completely, making sure it's in a spot where nobody (especially kids and pets) will run into it. Remove the wire and serve.
How to Dispose of all that grease:
Store the oil in the original container for reuse. Strain out any particles and freeze. Oil can
be kept for up to six months and reused for up to six hours of fry time.
Freeze it and then throw the hardened oil away on trash day.
Mix it with unscented kitty litter, sawdust, or sand to solidify the oil. Dispose of it in the trash.
Avoid scented or disinfectant types of kitty litter as they can react with the oil and cause a
fire. Or another option is to recycle it at your community’s transfer or recycling center. A list
of centers is available at www.hrclean.org (click on
Household Hazardous Waste).
Where to buy tools needed:
Oils: Starting at $12.99Starting at $14.99
Fryer:Bass Pro 30 Qt. $49.97
These are just a few options to start you out. Please visit http://Basspro.com to view more products or stop by the store and ask one of our friendly associates for assistance. With these tips and a little precaution you are sure to have a wonderful meal to serve your loved ones with a little help from Bass Pro. Also see A Good Holiday Turkey is a Fried Holiday Turkey!