Experienced Turkey Fryers, Please Check In

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bare, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Bought a new freezer from Sears last week and they threw in a free turkey fryer. I confess that I haven't even read the instructions yet, but I'm looking for advice, anything and everything you might share with me.

    I did have fried turkey one time, when a southern pipe line crew was working nearby, we invited them over for Thanksgiving and they brought all the fixin's for fried turkey pipeline style. A used, discarded barrel from the railroad, peanut oil, and something really, really, spicy/hot. Ambrosia from a barrel, who woulda thunk it?
     
  2. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    1. Don't let any children or pets within 25 feet of the fryer. The minute you start the oil heating, the kids and dogs NEED to start running in circles around the boiling oil for some reason.

    2. Be prepared to spend a LOT on oil.

    3. Do what they say in the instructions and measure the amount of water plus turkey that fits in the pot before you put the oil in to heat. Its hard to remove burning hot oil if you find you put too much in.

    4. Do NOT leave the pot of used oil where a dog can drink a few quarts of it. You will be treated to the canine version of Montezuma's Revenge complete with sound effects for the entire next day. Trust me on this one.

    5. Get ready to enjoy the best turkey you have ever eaten!
     

  3. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

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    If you are using a frozen turkey, put it in the oil very slowly. Dont over heat the oil either.
     
  4. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    Make sure that the pot that you're frying in is decent quality. If I remember correctly, some fryers were recalled early on due to low quality pots literally melting over the flame and dumping oil. Then the turkey isn't the only thing that's fried....

    I just had to replace my frying oil. $19.95 for 3 gals. of peanut oil at Wally World. Once you've measured the water level with the turkey in the pot, mark the level on the outside of the pot with a piece of tape or something for reference. Wipe the pot AND turkey of as much water as possible, cooking temp is 350* but bring the oil up to about 375-400* and then slowly lower the turkey into the pot. Cooking time @ 350* is approx. 3 minutes/pound plus 5 minutes at the end. Just keep an eye on the temp to make sure that the oil stays as close to 350* as possible. Also, find a large funnel with a built in strainer. Pour the oil through the strainer before it gets TOO cold. That way any bits of turkey will be filtered out of the oil....
     
  5. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Sounds like sage advice so far.

    Alright, for some specific questions... I'm assuming that one can use just about any oil? I ordered five gallons from a restaurant supplier. Hope it'll work.

    Can you really cook a frozen turkey?!?

    Any reason you can think of that you could'nt strain and freeze your oil for use next time?

    Not that I'm going to do it for the crowd I'm cooking for this time, but what did those pipeliners likely use for heat? Cayenne?
     
  6. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    I believe that peanut oil has the high burn temp needed for frying. Others may smoke/burn at temps lower than recommended for frying. Rest. supply *should* order the right thing for you but just double check to make sure.

    I've used my oil 3-5x before replacing it without issue. I simply strain it before re-bottling.

    Personally, I wouldn't attempt to drop a frozen anything into hot oil. Oil & water don't mix. When the ice crystals melt and hit hot oil you're going to have one large mess on your hands I think. I'd thaw the bird sufficiently and dry it well before dropping it in.

    Cayenne would be a good guess for heat. You could also think about injecting the bird with peppers, garlic, or any other herbs/spices/marinades that you can imagine. There are currently both liquid and solid injectors on the market. Solid injectors can be used to inject things like whole garlic cloves into the meat before frying. A quick search for frying recipes should pull up plenty of ideas.
     
  7. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    I would never put a frozen ANYTHING in hot oil. :eek:
     
  8. Hurricane Kurt

    Hurricane Kurt Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you do.... Don't put a frozen turkey in hot grease! It will start a grease fire like you've never seen! You want to setup outside away from the house in the grass since the grease will stain concrete.

    Make sure its very dry. I usually inject the bird and put my dry rub on it the night before and keep it in the fridge over night. I then take it out a few hrs before cooking it and let it air dry, rub it again inside and out then cook it. Best results I've had were with peanut oil.

    Kurt
     
  9. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you don't want to use your turkey fryer for cooking turkeys they can be used outside to do your canning! I did this this past summer and it was great. I used my pressure canner on the burner.
     
  10. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with everyone else, don't try a frozen bird, plus it will take longer to cook. Make sure you wipe the bird down with paper towels, inside & out!! Seriously, you won't have much of a BURST when you lower the turkey. ANd make sure you only use the amount of oil you need for the size bird you have, that way your oil will not run over!

    And cook it on pavement, sidewalk, cement, dirt, just not a porch or garage, or deck!

    If you want to season it, gently lift the skin up & sprinkle your spices right on the meat. We use Season All & garlinc. Makes the meat more flavorful.

    You can strain & use the oil again, we strain & pour the cooled oil back in the original container.


    Shygal, I agree about the kids & the dogs!! :haha: Add cats & goats to the mixture & that's our house!!

    The St. Bernard drank 2 quarts of peanut oil, & well, lets just say our couch smelled like McDOnalds for 2 weeks :no: (side note: Oil IS NOT GOOD for couches! ;) )

    Tricia
     
  11. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Heat your oil to 400 degrees. The temp will drop when the bird goes in, then adjust the flame so the oil stays at 350. You want to lower that bird into the grease PAINFULLY slow. It should take a full minute to get it in there.

    The most important advice is use a meat thermometer. Get a long probe thermometer just like the one that came with your kit. Insert the tip into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone. Your turkey is done when the temp. reaches 170. Remove the turkey from the grease to a platter, loosely tent with foil, and let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

    Shygal et. al--frozen food is fine to fry--all those french fries, cheese sticks, and all that other yummy fried food is put in the grease frozen. But with the turkey, the outside will be burnt before the inside is cooked. Thaw the turkey completely and then allow it to dry uncovered on a rack in the fridge overnight.

    Bare-strain your oil through a coffee filter and freeze.
     
  12. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    We use the oil for Thanksgiving and Christmas, then slowly feed the leftover oil to the chickens mixed in with their feed. Laying production almost always goes up!
     
  13. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

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    And most important, never use it in the house.
     
  14. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Please be very careful. Two years ago a friend from church set it up outside, but still burned the house half down not to mention his hands and arms. The doctor at the hospital said it happens a lot at that time of year!
     
  15. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Thats true, I forgot about those things. But you do have to make sure all the ice crystals are off of it.
     
  16. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    All good advice so far.
    Remember to measure your oil before heating it. I place my turkey in the pot and fill with enough water to cover. Remove the turkey and mark the side of the pot where the water line is. THEN you know how much oil to use and you won't spill over when you put your turkey in.

    Also, I prefer to brine or inject seasonings, to me the flavor is better than when you just sprinkle the outside with spices. Dry rubs seem to just float off the bird when you submerge it in oil. Injecting and brining seem to penetrate into the meat better.
    You can blend your spices with melted butter or chicken stock and inject. Or mix up a spicy brine and let it soak overnight before frying.
    Just remember to pat the bird dry before frying.
    Good luck and Happy cookin!
     
  17. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Ah, one tip about putting the turkey in the oil that I forgot.

    The stand the turkey fits on has a handle at the top. Take a long pole, get another person, put the pole through the handle, and each of you take one end of the pole and lower the turkey in that way.
    There are two reasons for doing it that way.
    One is , you have to lower it SO slowly, that turkey seems to gain weight by the second, and gets heavier and heavier, two people makes it much easier.

    And second, if you are both at the end of the long pole, and a flare up happens, you are at a safe distance from the oil and wont get hurt.
     
  18. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Hubby did a fried turkey and he used some cajun spices injected into it, yum yum.