Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

We’ve all heard about the friend of the friend who deep fries a turkey each Thanksgiving, and everyone raves about it. Well, this is your year to be that guy. Here’s our quick guide, along with some great tips from chef Darrell Breaux of Bro’s Cajun Cuisine in Nashville, Tenn., who’s been frying turkeys for 25 years. “Once you’ve had a fried turkey,” he says, “you won’t want it any other way.”

 

• Wash turkey thoroughly both inside and out and drain. “Your best frying size is between 12 and 14 pounds. That will feed four to six people.”

 

• Season turkey to taste. “I like to sprinkle seasoning, rub it in, and let it set for a couple of days.”

• Make sure it’s room temperature before putting it into your fryer. “Every year it seems like somebody tries to fry a frozen turkey. Don’t! It’ll explode.”

• Heat the oil in a large outdoor pot to 350 degrees. “I prefer peanut oil.”

 

• Carefully lower turkey until it’s fully submerged. (Tip: To predetermine the correct oil level, put the turkey in the empty fryer, add water, remove turkey and mark the proper level.)

 

• Fry for around 3 minutes per pound. “Take into account the weather. The wind can be blowing, or it could be snowing. Use a thermometer to make sure it’s cooked properly. (Remove the turkey and) stick the thermometer into the thigh. It needs to be around 185 degrees.”

 

• Remove from oil, drain on paper towel and carve. “If you’re planning on using the same pan you had the raw turkey in, make sure you wash the pan. You don’t want any cross contamination.” 

 

• Breaux’s final safety tip? “Stay sober, and use common sense.”

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