November 20, 2017

Do You Want to Fry Your Thanksgiving Turkey? Read This First

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. There are many ways to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey for your feast, but some are safer than others.

Many people may want to deep fry their Thanksgiving turkey. That cooking method makes a delicious turkey that has crisp skin and is juicy and flavorful. But the method can be dangerous.

Christmas turkey

First, some general food safety rules for turkeys. Don’t buy the bird too early. A fresh turkey should be cooked within 1 to 2 days. A frozen turkey will take about 3 days to thaw in the fridge (NEVER thaw on the counter) and then must be cooked within 2 days. You can thaw a frozen turkey by submerging the frozen, bagged bird in cold tap water, changing the water eery 30 minutes. A 12 pound turkey will take about 6 hours to thaw using this method. The turkey must be cooked immediately when using this thawing technique.

If you want to deep fry your bird, smaller birds work best. The turkey you buy should be no larger than 12 pounds. Or you can fry turkey parts instead. The turkey you deep fry should be fresh, completely thawed, and not stuffed.

The type of oil recommended includes peanut, safflower, soybean, grapeseed, canola, corn, and sunflower. The smoke points of those oils range from 410°F to 450°F.

When you’re cooking with large amounts of hot oil, make sure that the pot is large enough so the turkey can be completely submerged without the oil spilling over, which could cause serious injuries and fire. The oil should cover the turkey by 1 to 2 inches.

To determine the amount of oil you need for deep frying a turkey, put the turkey into a large cooking vessel and add water to cover. then remove the turkey and measure the amount of water; that’s the amount of oil you need. Don’t overfill the fryer.

The deep fryer should be located outdoors. Never use a turkey fryer inside the home, in the garage, or on a porch. The oil should be heated to 350*F. Very slowly and carefully, lower the turkey into the hot oil. Monitor the temperature of the oil with a thermometer while the bird is cooking. And never leave hot oil unattended. The turkey should cook for 3 to 5 minutes per pound.

When the turkey reaches 165°F as tested with a food thermometer, remove it from the oil, being careful of dripping hot oil. The skin may be golden brown, dark brown, or almost black. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving. Remember that the color of the flesh isn’t a reliable indicator of doneness.

The fryer should be turned off as soon as you remove the turkey. Make sure the fryer is completely cooled before you get rid of the oil (don’t pour it down the sink) and clean the appliance.

And be aware that, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the United States Fire Commission warns that turkey fryers can be dangerous. They recommend that everyone review cooking safety tips before they turn on their fryers.

 

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