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Dec 26, 2011
Deep Fried Turkey

I've never deep fried a turkey before so I figured that Christmas day would be the perfect time. I did a lot of research on the internet, watched a lot of You Tube videos, and asked a lot of questions. I learned four major things:

1. Do not heat the oil over 400 degrees.
2. Fully thaw and dry off the turkey before frying.
3. SLOWLY lower the turkey into the oil.
4. Fry the turkey for 3 minutes per pound and then check the internal temperature.

I went with simple premade creole seasoning rub all over the outside of the bird and injected it with my butter and salt injection mix that I'm so fond of. Here are a few photos from the day (this day was all about not blowing anything up and cooking a perfect turkey so photography was not the day's priority- I apologize!):

deep frying a turkey

I set up a little camp in the middle of my driveway. I had a table set up, along with tailgate chairs and a fire extinguisher on the side.

deep frying a turkey

When the oil hit 350 degrees I slowly dropped the turkey into the oil. It turns out that my pot is a 10 gallon pot, which is much larger than most turkey fryers. In order to vertically fry the turkey on a turkey stand I would have required a significantly larger amount of oil. I decided to fry the turkey in the fryer basket that came with my turkey fryer. The 15 lb turkey could lay horizontal with the breast up in the fryer basket.

I had a few problems that were tricky to overcome during the frying. The main problem was that I couldn't get a hot blue flame. My flame was totally yellow and in order to get the oil to the right temperature I needed to really crank it. The problem with this was that the flame kept coming back out the air intake of the burner. This caused me to have to stop the flame and light the burner again. I had to do this numerous times. Our best guess is that the burner isn't formed correctly or possibly has some gunk blocking the pathway of the gas. Because the flame wasn't the greatest, when the turkey went into the 350 degree oil, the temperature dropped and held around 250-275 degrees. After 45 minutes (3 min x 15 lbs) we were only around 140 degrees internal temperature of the turkey breast. It took another 15 minutes of frying the turkey to get to 170 degrees. This at least taught us that you can fry a fantastic turkey at 275 degrees!

amazing deep fried turkey?

Now I've made a lot of turkeys in my time but this is obviously the best I've ever had. This is the only turkey that I've ever seen where my guests begged for not only the skin but also the dark meat. I fried two turkeys this time and they both were completely picked over. Not an ounce of turkey meat was leftover! I guess that means it's a winner! I will certainly do this again.

deep fried turkey in a strainer basket

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By John Thomas
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