For many lovers of turkey the deep fried turkey is like the Holy Grail of birds. Despite what you might think, deep frying your bird isn't that complicated. You need to do a bit of prep work, but that's what Thanksgiving cooking is all about, right?
First of all, you need to deep fry your turkey outdoors away from the house or garage. Basically, you want a wide open space to work on. You need a butane stove that will support the pot and the turkey. You should also have a meat thermometer. There are some folks who will attach a metal handle to the bird. Don't make yourself nuts with this. Instead, get a fryer basket that is big enough to hold your turkey. Because deep frying is so popular, you'll be able to pick up the pot and basket most anywhere they sell cooking gear.
Step 1 - Prep the Bird
Unwrap your thawed turkey. Please note the word "thawed." A frozen bird + hot oil = explosion. And take out the neck and giblets (rookie mistake not to).
Step 2 - Measure for and Add Oil
Another way to cause an explosion or fire is to have the oil overflow when you sink the turkey into the fryer. Determine how much oil you'll need by placing your turkey in your frying basket and then into the pot. Fill the pot with water until the turkey is covered. Pull out the basket. The water left behind is your level of oil. Mark the water line and empty the pot.
Refill the pot with your oil to the right level and start to heat. Your goal is to hit 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The best choices for oil are those with a high smoke point such as peanut, corn oil or sunflower oil.
Step 4 - Season the Turkey
While the oil is heating up, dry off your turkey and apply seasoning. A simple seasoning is cayenne pepper, salt and paprika, but you can look for deep fry rubs recipes online and pick the one that appeals to your taste buds. Remember, you're looking for a dry rub, not a marinade. You don't need to add any moisture, you're going to sink the bird in oil.
Step 5 - Put the Turkey in the Fryer
When the oil has reached the right temperature, turn off the flame and SLOWLY lower the basket into the oil. "Slowly" is the key word here because you don't want to have that hot oil bubbling over. This is what causes trouble with fire flare-ups. Once the bird is submerged, turn the fire back on.
Step 6 - Wait
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per pound. You read that right. A 10-pound bird should be done in 40 minutes. You don't have to adjust, baste or do anything else. Just let the bird cook. Your turkey will be fully cooked when the white meat temp is 165 F to 170 F.
Step 7 -Wait Some More
When the turkey has reached the finished temps, SLOWLY lift the frying basket and place the bird in a pan to drain. Let it rest for 20 minutes before removing from the basket. Slice and enjoy.
If you're deep frying your turkey this Thanksgiving we'd like a couple of things: 1) Your best rub recipes. 2) Pictures of the process. 3) The leftovers. Happy Thanksgiving!