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Old 12-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
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Deep Frying Turkeys in Bulk

Hi guys, My name is Darius and I am new to this forum.

I am trying to do research on a new side job/hobby of mine. I am interested in selling deep fried turkeys a few times a year to try to make some extra money to help pay for graduate school. I love to cook so when I found out about the interest level people had in deep fried turkeys I thought I might be able to make this work. I have a very good business sense about me and don't jump into anything half way, I wanted to find out from reliable sources what would be a good method of producing these turkeys in bulk.

My primary concern is what method would you use to defrost a large number of turkeys safely and in what type of container etc. Because this would be one of the issues effecting how many you could make in a day.

How long between cooking to sale should I accept before I lose quality of the product. i.e. If I don't have it pre sold waiting to be picked up how long in advance could I keep them "shelved" waiting to be sold. This would also effect production volume.

I would with a guy who's friend fried 250 turkeys I haven't had a chance to ask over what period of time but it doesn't seem to me like these things should sit on a shelf for very long before you lose the whole taste factor of frying it in the first place. I realise that most would have to be rewarmed in the oven also.

I'm just trying to work out some of the logistics of this to see if it's practicle the way I would like to do it.

Thank you and sorry for such a long post.

Darius.

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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Around here, cooked turkeys have to be pre-ordered so you always know how many you have to cook and when they will be picked up.

The safest way to defrost a quantity of frozen turkeys is in a large fridge (commercial). I suppose you could buy fresh turkeys and eliminate the problem.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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Hi, Darius. Welcome to DC

Unless you have an outlet for selling these that you're working with, such as a restaurant or grocery store, I wouldn't invest the money and time in pre-buying and cooking fried turkeys; I would suggest making them to order and specifying a lead time. Also, depending on your state's laws and regulations regarding food safety, you may need to rent space in a commercial kitchen and/or be certified in safe food handling, so you'll need to look into that.

The first thing you need to do, really, is develop a business plan. You need to figure out your food cost, preparation cost, and overhead (advertising, business cards, etc.) in order to determine how much to charge so you will make a profit. There may be a finance professor at your school who can help you out. Not sure where you're located, but in the U.S., there's an organization called SCORE - Service Corps of Retired Executives - which consists of people who volunteer to advise new business owners.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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I think your primary concern should be talking to a lawyer who can help you through all the legal hoop-jumping this would entail.

Then an insurance agent to buy both property and liability insurance.

Then to Serve Safe to learn about food safety. Please do not get your food safety information on something like this from a message board.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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Thank you for all of the replies, this is why I came hear to have a sounding board to try to work through questions and concerns of doing the process. I have already determined a ball park figure of the costs of operation (which will be further hammered out if it becomes a go), I figure advertisement would be mostly social media (fb, twitter, etc.), and frying some sample birds for tasters and maybe a new paper ad. I am not thinkg a long the lines of having a industrial assembly line undertaking hear. I think if I could do maybe 100-200 or something like that it would be great. But it all falls under feasibilty, if you can't physically produce enough to meet demand then you are limited by your capcity.

Jennyema, your statement about property and liability insurance, was that assuming that this wasn't being done from home? Because of course I have property insurance on my house. The liability insurance would that be for incase some got sick from the food? I have liability insurance also because my primary job is being a nurse.

I want to say thanks again for all of the comments made. I can take the food safety course because we obivously want to work between the lines.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djhenry View Post

Jennyema, your statement about property and liability insurance, was that assuming that this wasn't being done from home? Because of course I have property insurance on my house. The liability insurance would that be for incase some got sick from the food? I have liability insurance also because my primary job is being a nurse.
Doing this from home could result in big fines from the local health department. You would need to make sure that your liability insurance would cover this. If its not legal (most places it is not legal to cook for the pubic in your home) then your liability insurance most likely will not cover you.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #7
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If you sell things to others you generally need commercial insurance.

Most homeowners policies don't cover you if you prepare and sell food from your house.

Insurance is VERY important, particularly in your situation with poultry and hot oil

Like if someone sued you because you held the turkey too long at insufficient temp. I'd you don't have insurance, you are likely FUC@ED for a very long time.

Similarly your homeowners will likely deny a claim if you are running a business .
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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Your Nursing Liability Insurance will NOT cover a lawsuit for making and selling food. It only covers your actions as a nurse, not a purveyor of foodstuffs.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #9
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Welcome to DC! Selling food prepped at home can be a very slippery slope. You will need to research local and state laws. There might be other ways to supplement your income such as tutoring undergrads, working as a private care nurse, offering to help with holiday cooking in the person's home (not sure about that one--but I would think one could do that...maybe not), at this time of year, offering to help people with the decorating (and undecorating)/baking/cleaning in preparation for the holidays, cleaning after a party, etc.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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thanks for all of the comments, which was the reason why I came hear to start with to get a good sounding board to bounce ideas off of. Basically the jist that I am getting from you guys with that it is very prohibitive to do this on a small scale such as what I would be doing. With commercial property (ironic because one of the 1st rules is don't cook deep fried turkeys in a enclosed space), commercial insurance, etc. this operation would need to be much more productive to make it worth wild.

Btw in my grad school it is basically impossible to work any real length of time usually 40-60 hr weeks. So I was looking for something I could do during our breaks, around holidays and such.

Thanks,

again for your help.

Darius
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