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Old 11-22-2004, 08:16 PM   #1
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The Ten Commandments of Frying Turkeys

The Ten Commandments of Frying Turkeys

1) Don't get too big a turkey. The average pot that comes with these frying
kits will hold about a 14 to 18 pound turkey. If that isn't enough do two
turkeys instead of trying to pack a huge one in a little pot.

2) Always fry your turkey outside on a flat even surface. Don't let kids or
pets around while you are cooking. It might be a good idea to find a chair
for drunk uncle Bubba to sit in also.

3) Be prepared in case of an accident. Fire extinguisher...good idea. Water
hose...probably bad idea. If the pot tumps over and catches fire, where is
the burning oil going to go??? Under your car? Down through the gaps
between the boards of your wooden deck? It is best to do this out in the
yard or on a driveway. Get a piece of plywood to set it on and that will
help keep splattering oil of off your grass or driveway.

4) Know how much oil you will need. Don't fill the pot up and get it to 365°
and then try to put a turkey in it. If you do then you need to re-read #3
because about 1/2 of that oil will leave the pot. A good tried and true way
of figuring the amount of oil is the water method. Put the raw turkey in the
pot and fill it with water just until the turkey is almost underwater. Now
take the turkey out and mark where the water level is. That is the mount of
oil you will need.

5) Get rid of all the water. Before you fill the pot with oil dry it as good
as you can. That goes the same for the turkey. Pat it dry with paper towels.
Shake it around to get the water out of the cavity. Hot oil and water do
not mix very well.

6) Use good clean oil. Peanut oil is usually the preferred oil in that in
can withstand the higher temp's better then other oils. Regular oil can be
used but I spend the couple extra bucks and get peanut oil. You can use it
for quite a while if you take care of it. Get a filter of some kind and use
it. They can be bought all over the place and are made just for this. I
found that coffee filters do not work unless you have about 6 days to kill
filtering oil.

7) Wear thick leather gloves. When you are lowering that turkey into the oil
you will get some splattering so expect it. Our natural instinct when
something very hot hits our hand is to pull it away. Ok...you get
splattered... you let go of turkey to pull hand away...turkey now PLUNGES
into boiling oil...you are on your way to the hospital to get new skin on
both of your legs. Just get some good thick gloves. Also watch out for that
hole where the neck was. Oil will gush out of that like a volcano.

8) TURN THE FIRE OFF. This has to be the one thing I really try to do. After
you get the oil up to temp. and are ready to lower the turkey in turn the
burner of first. 99% of the time you will have some oil splash over the
side. With the fire off all you got now is a little mess (but you have a
piece of plywood down just for the messes, right?) instead of the
possibility of a flare up. Once the turkey is in and the oil has settled
down re-light the burner. Remember, you do not have to have the flame at it
highest. Once the oil heats up it doesn't take too much to keep it hot with
the exception of outside temp. and wind. That is just something you will
have to figure out.

9) Go slow. Don't just try to lower the turkey in the oil in a few seconds.
Take your time. Lower it in a couple of inches and then raise it up just a
little. Lower it in a little farther and then back up a little. When the
turkey is a little over half way in kind tilt it a little to each side. This
will let any air pockets out and you won't have a big splash of oil when a
air bubble comes out. Never leave the turkey by itself. Always have someone
there watching (except drunk uncle Bubba) just in case something happens.
Going slow also applies to taking the turkey out. Don't just yank it out and
splash oil on everyone who will now be out there wondering when it will be
ready. Take it out slow and let the oil drain out of the cavity back into
the pot. Make sure that you have the turkey high enough so that it won't hit
the lip of the pot when you swing it around to sat it on something.

10) Know when the turkey is done. The general rule is 3.5 minutes per pound.
That usually works real well but I take the internal temp. also. I will
raise it up ( or have someone else raise it) about 1/2 way out of the oil
and take the temp. in the breast. It should read 165 to 170 and I will
consider that bird done. Take it out and let it sit for about 15 minutes and
carve it up.


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Old 11-22-2004, 09:19 PM   #2
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Excellent Advice!

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-22-2004, 09:37 PM   #3
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Great post! Some of these things seem obvious, while other I probably never would have thought of until too late. I bet this post saves some people from some serious damage. Good job Rainee!
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Old 11-23-2004, 01:26 AM   #4
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Nothing is as simple - or as dangerous - as a fried turkey. Thanks for posting this Rainee.

As for the fire extinguisher .... make sure it is rated for grease fires - and the bigger the better.
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Old 11-23-2004, 02:26 AM   #5
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We always use two people to lift the turkey. We take a 4 or 5 foot long piece of wood, and old broom handle works, and slip it through the lifter handle. One person on each end of the stick, and we lift. Nobody is close to or over the hot bubbling cauldron of skin strippingly hot oil.
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:00 AM   #6
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This thread deserves one of those sticky attachments to keep it at the top of the topic list!

What an exceptionally good list of precautions and tips!

Thank you, Rainee.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional.
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Old 11-23-2004, 09:51 AM   #7
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Consider it stuck
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:16 PM   #8
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