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Author Topic: Deep fried turkey - looking for suggestions on oil / seasoning etc etc UPDATED  (Read 1145 times)
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Roman
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« on: October 04, 2010, 03:31:58 PM »

Hi all,

I am going to deep fry one of our turkeys this year - having never done so before I thought I would reach out to ya'll on some tips.

1. what oils is best? I know that I need something with a high smoke point and they would be: corn, peanut or canola oils? Is one more flavourful than the other?
2. Seasoning the bird? Is this required? Won't the oil essentially burn off my dry seasoning?

And just to point out:

1. I will be doing this outside far away from any structures
2. Fire extinguisher on hand
3. I have watched copious amounts of video telling me to make sure that I SLOWLY lower the bird in.

Would love to hear from you guys.

Thanks in advance,
Roman
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 03:09:16 AM by Roman » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 03:41:23 PM »

my brother did this last thanksgiving.  I'm not sure about seasoning but I know he cooked it in peanut oil.  The turkey was awesome, very crisp on the outside but the meat was very juicy.  For oil I highly recommend peanut oil.
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2010, 03:47:06 PM »

Ya, peanut oil is preferred but not mandatory.

Lower the uncooked bird in the fryer first, then add oil(or water, if you want to match the oil level) to get your correct level.

As far as seasonings, most deep-fried turkeys are injected with seasonings so they stay inside while cooking.

And ya......deep-fried turkey is freaking awesome. You WILL notice a difference.
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2010, 04:38:05 PM »

Not sure if it is as important for deep frying as for turkeys cooked in a regular oven, but last year we brined our bird for the first time ever and could not believe we've gone this long without doing so.  The meat was an order of magnitude more flavorful and moist.  I don't see why it wouldn't further improve a deep fried bird as well.

We went with Alton Brown's brining recipe (quantities based on a 14 to 16 pound turkey, adjust as necessary for larger or smaller birds):

Quote
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket (we used a cooler and then cloroxed it when finished). Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.


My wife makes our turkey in an oven bag, and last year was the best turkey we've ever had.  From now on brining is a necessity for our prep. 
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 04:39:06 PM »

My SIL does this every year. Swears by frying it.
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Roman
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2010, 04:46:14 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on October 04, 2010, 04:38:05 PM

Not sure if it is as important for deep frying as for turkeys cooked in a regular oven, but last year we brined our bird for the first time ever and could not believe we've gone this long without doing so.  The meat was an order of magnitude more flavorful and moist.  I don't see why it wouldn't further improve a deep fried bird as well.

We went with Alton Brown's brining recipe (quantities based on a 14 to 16 pound turkey, adjust as necessary for larger or smaller birds):

Quote
For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket (we used a cooler and then cloroxed it when finished). Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.


My wife makes our turkey in an oven bag, and last year was the best turkey we've ever had.  From now on brining is a necessity for our prep. 

 nod Pete we did the same thing last year and agree %110 that the Turkey was amazing! I will certainly think about combining the two methods this year.
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2010, 05:02:40 PM »

Quote from: Roman on October 04, 2010, 04:46:14 PM

nod Pete we did the same thing last year and agree %110 that the Turkey was amazing! I will certainly think about combining the two methods this year.

And as brining works moisture and flavor into the bird it might negate the need to forcefully inject seasoning into your turkey.  If we had a deep frier we might try the deep fried option, but we've never done it before nor have we ever tasted a deep fried turkey (we fear burning down our neighborhood).  Plus Thanksgiving is my wife's time to shine for dinner and entertainment, so I just let her run with it, helping out as needed, but allowing her to take the lead (the kitchen is my domain the rest of the year).  I'll contribute a dessert (last year I made a pumpkin bourbon cheesecake with a sour cream topping, all from scratch, including the crust), but the meal and sides are all hers. 

Man, I cannot wait for Thanksgiving this year.  Last year was a small, modest gathering with most friends leaving the area (we live in Arizona, our families are in NJ and Pennsylvania, and most of our friends had travel plans).  But this year all of our closest friends will be in town so we're having a huge party with food, fun, football, friends, fbeer, fwine, and fbooze.   icon_wink
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2010, 05:26:34 PM »

We do this every year. Peanut oil works great. You can buy 'flavor injectors' in the store. I make my own flavor to inject, but I have had some pre-made that were pretty good.

WARNING: You said you know to lower the bird slowly, but even more important is to turn the heat source OFF first!
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2010, 06:26:08 PM »

What you need:

1.  One fully-frozen turkey, large
2.  A large pot filled to the brim with boiling hot cooking oil
3.  A dry wooden deck
4.  A video camera

I guarantee 1,000,000 youtube hits.
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 08:13:54 PM »

ah brining... thats what my brother did.   I had forgotten until the others mentioned it.  It was the best turkey ever!
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 09:20:08 PM »

Quote from: happydog on October 04, 2010, 05:26:34 PM

We do this every year. Peanut oil works great. You can buy 'flavor injectors' in the store. I make my own flavor to inject, but I have had some pre-made that were pretty good.

WARNING: You said you know to lower the bird slowly, but even more important is to turn the heat source OFF first!

I am pretty sure that the one that I am using is electric. But great point should it not be.
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2010, 11:38:00 PM »

Quote from: Roman on October 04, 2010, 09:20:08 PM

Quote from: happydog on October 04, 2010, 05:26:34 PM

We do this every year. Peanut oil works great. You can buy 'flavor injectors' in the store. I make my own flavor to inject, but I have had some pre-made that were pretty good.

WARNING: You said you know to lower the bird slowly, but even more important is to turn the heat source OFF first!

I am pretty sure that the one that I am using is electric. But great point should it not be.

Even with an electric I would turn it all the way off first. If you remove the heat source, your remove the chance of fire.

Another tip... put down a tarp or cardboard or something that can catch the drips and splatter. It will make a mess and oil is not easy to clean up.
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2010, 01:06:03 AM »

Make sure the turkey is thawed and not still frozen or ya gonna have one whopper of explosive oil.
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2010, 01:18:04 AM »

Quote from: Freezer-TPF- on October 04, 2010, 06:26:08 PM

What you need:

1.  One fully-frozen turkey, large
2.  A large pot filled to the brim with boiling hot cooking oil
3.  A dry wooden deck
4.  A video camera

I guarantee 1,000,000 youtube hits.

I second this motion.
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2010, 03:50:20 AM »

Quote from: Daehawk on October 05, 2010, 01:06:03 AM

Make sure the turkey is thawed and not still frozen or ya gonna have one whopper of explosive oil.

Really make sure of this.  The two issues you could have if you don't are:
1) the turkey will be undercooked or raw inside
2) the pot of boiling oil explodes all over you as it meets the frozen bird.

Item 1 is guaranteed, item 2 is likely.   While both are bad, in order of severity #2 would really ruin your thanksgiving.
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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2010, 04:07:03 AM »

You're going to need a strong piece of wood, plastic, or rubber, about four or five inches long and one inch thick.



That's to bite down on while they're debriding your skin.
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2010, 04:10:19 AM »

Alton Brown of the Food Network show Good Eats did a great episode focused entirely on how to safely fry a turkey that was full of great tips to get a great result and keep anyone from getting hurt in the process.  he goes through the entire process from start to finish...brining your turkey, buying a fryer, choosing your oil, settiing up a safe fryer system, and finally frying the turkey.  they even do a quit demonstration of how things can go horribly wrong if you don't know what you're doing.  it's definitely worth checking out...and it's all on YouTube icon_cool

Good Eats - Fry Turkey Fry
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

and you can get a summary of his recipe here.  just remember that one of the most important things is to never stand close to the fryer as you lower your turkey into the oil.  you never know how it's going to react, and the results can be disastrous.  good luck!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 04:12:56 AM by disarm » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2010, 03:09:36 PM »

Don't let these vaginas scare you......it's fine if you have half a brain.

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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2010, 04:04:17 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on October 04, 2010, 05:02:40 PM

Quote from: Roman on October 04, 2010, 04:46:14 PM

nod Pete we did the same thing last year and agree %110 that the Turkey was amazing! I will certainly think about combining the two methods this year.

And as brining works moisture and flavor into the bird it might negate the need to forcefully inject seasoning into your turkey.  If we had a deep frier we might try the deep fried option, but we've never done it before nor have we ever tasted a deep fried turkey (we fear burning down our neighborhood).  Plus Thanksgiving is my wife's time to shine for dinner and entertainment, so I just let her run with it, helping out as needed, but allowing her to take the lead (the kitchen is my domain the rest of the year).  I'll contribute a dessert (last year I made a pumpkin bourbon cheesecake with a sour cream topping, all from scratch, including the crust), but the meal and sides are all hers. 

Man, I cannot wait for Thanksgiving this year.  Last year was a small, modest gathering with most friends leaving the area (we live in Arizona, our families are in NJ and Pennsylvania, and most of our friends had travel plans).  But this year all of our closest friends will be in town so we're having a huge party with food, fun, football, friends, fbeer, fwine, and fbooze.   icon_wink


what time should we be there.....?
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2010, 05:33:52 PM »

Around Thanksgiving time I've seen specific turkey frying oil packaged in larger stores like WalMart and Meijer. I'm not sure if its any different from normal oil or anything, but it's like 5 lbs of peanut oil.
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« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2010, 11:14:58 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on October 05, 2010, 05:33:52 PM

Around Thanksgiving time I've seen specific turkey frying oil packaged in larger stores like WalMart and Meijer. I'm not sure if its any different from normal oil or anything, but it's like 5 lbs of peanut oil.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are often local places to drop off the used oil so that you don't have to be "creative" in finding a way to dispose of it.  Many municipalities do not allow disposal of household hazardous waste or liquid waste in regular trash, which includes oil from deep frying.  Some automotive places even accept used fryer oil, so check with local stores in case they have a program around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Do a quick bit of research ahead of time so that you are not left with a few gallons of used deep frying oil.  Some restaurants even allow used-oil drop offs to add to be incorporated into their recycling programs.  Odds are you should have a handful of options.

Quote from: Scuzz on October 05, 2010, 04:04:17 PM

what time should we be there.....?

Drinking and festivities usually start early, around 6 or 7am due to food prep and getting the turkey ready.  The earlier you come the more help you can provide.  Or the more drinking you can fit into the day.  
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 11:17:52 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2010, 03:12:09 AM »

I am pleased to report that all went as planned - there was no  fire, boil over or any property damage.

The bird was great - very moist and a great crispy skin.
I ended up using vegetable oil as 5gal of peanut oil would have run me over $50  eek

I will certainly do it again next year for Thanksgiving.

Thanks for all the tips.

Roman
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2010, 04:32:25 AM »

 thumbsup
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2010, 04:34:25 AM »

Quote from: Roman on October 11, 2010, 03:12:09 AM

I am pleased to report that all went as planned - there was no  fire, boil over or any property damage.

The bird was great - very moist and a great crispy skin.
I ended up using vegetable oil as 5gal of peanut oil would have run me over $50  eek

I will certainly do it again next year for Thanksgiving.

Thanks for all the tips.

Roman

I've been studying so much that I thought when I came in here I must have blacked out and missed Thanksgiving.   icon_eek

I didn't miss Thanksgiving, right? 
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« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2010, 05:20:00 AM »

The Canadians have it early so they can minimize the time that the Halloween decorations are up in the stores.
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« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2010, 02:49:51 PM »

Deep fried turkey is the best and Alton's brining is required. I recently bought an infra-red turkey fryer and didn't tell guests that it wasn't oil fried to see how they would react and they claim they couldn't tell. I couldn't tell the difference either and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.

http://www.charbroil.com/ProductInfo/54-95-1936/The-Big-Easy-Infrared-Turkey-Fryer.aspx
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« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2010, 03:53:52 PM »

Quote from: ibdoomed on October 11, 2010, 02:49:51 PM

Deep fried turkey is the best and Alton's brining is required. I recently bought an infra-red turkey fryer and didn't tell guests that it wasn't oil fried to see how they would react and they claim they couldn't tell. I couldn't tell the difference either and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.

http://www.charbroil.com/ProductInfo/54-95-1936/The-Big-Easy-Infrared-Turkey-Fryer.aspx

Does it still use propane as the fuel source? It looks to have the connector there.
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« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2010, 04:37:06 PM »

Quote from: Roman on October 11, 2010, 03:53:52 PM

Quote from: ibdoomed on October 11, 2010, 02:49:51 PM

Deep fried turkey is the best and Alton's brining is required. I recently bought an infra-red turkey fryer and didn't tell guests that it wasn't oil fried to see how they would react and they claim they couldn't tell. I couldn't tell the difference either and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.

http://www.charbroil.com/ProductInfo/54-95-1936/The-Big-Easy-Infrared-Turkey-Fryer.aspx

Does it still use propane as the fuel source? It looks to have the connector there.

Correct, I just swap my tank between the grill and the big easy.
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« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2010, 07:24:58 PM »

Quote from: ibdoomed on October 11, 2010, 04:37:06 PM

Quote from: Roman on October 11, 2010, 03:53:52 PM

Quote from: ibdoomed on October 11, 2010, 02:49:51 PM

Deep fried turkey is the best and Alton's brining is required. I recently bought an infra-red turkey fryer and didn't tell guests that it wasn't oil fried to see how they would react and they claim they couldn't tell. I couldn't tell the difference either and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.

http://www.charbroil.com/ProductInfo/54-95-1936/The-Big-Easy-Infrared-Turkey-Fryer.aspx

Does it still use propane as the fuel source? It looks to have the connector there.

I love the concept because the expense of buying the oil has kept me from doing this.  Will have to try this out.
Correct, I just swap my tank between the grill and the big easy.

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« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2010, 01:11:23 AM »

Quote from: ibdoomed on October 11, 2010, 02:49:51 PM

Deep fried turkey is the best and Alton's brining is required. I recently bought an infra-red turkey fryer and didn't tell guests that it wasn't oil fried to see how they would react and they claim they couldn't tell. I couldn't tell the difference either and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.

http://www.charbroil.com/ProductInfo/54-95-1936/The-Big-Easy-Infrared-Turkey-Fryer.aspx

I am very, very intrigued by this piece of equipment. Have you cooked anything in it besides a turkey? I love the idea of it, because it would free up my oven on Thanksgiving day, but I'm only interested if t makes a great turkey.
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« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2010, 02:25:18 PM »

Quote from: GuidoTKP on October 12, 2010, 01:11:23 AM

Quote from: ibdoomed on October 11, 2010, 02:49:51 PM

Deep fried turkey is the best and Alton's brining is required. I recently bought an infra-red turkey fryer and didn't tell guests that it wasn't oil fried to see how they would react and they claim they couldn't tell. I couldn't tell the difference either and it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.

http://www.charbroil.com/ProductInfo/54-95-1936/The-Big-Easy-Infrared-Turkey-Fryer.aspx

I am very, very intrigued by this piece of equipment. Have you cooked anything in it besides a turkey? I love the idea of it, because it would free up my oven on Thanksgiving day, but I'm only interested if t makes a great turkey.

Sure, we use it once or twice a month year round for chicken, brisket, cornish hens, basically anything you want to cook slow. It comes with a couple half racks so you can have two levels and we often cook two chickens at once.
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« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2010, 06:44:55 AM »

I'm so buying this thing.
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