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Video:How to Safely Deep Fry a Turkey

with JJ Johnson

Fried turkey is particularly delicious, but the process can be a disaster if you don't know the proper procedure. Learn the steps to safely deep fry a turkey.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Safely Deep Fry a Turkey

Hi I'm JJ Johnson here to show you how to safely deep fry a turkey on About.com. Frying a turkey is fast fun and flavorful – but cooking with large quantities of hot oil can be dangerous – so follow these tips for a safe and scrumptious meal.

Prep the Turkey for Frying

Let's start with the bird. The ideal size for frying is between 10 and 20 lbs. A bigger turkey would overcook on the outside while not being done on the inside. This bird is about 12 1/2 lbs. and I have injected it with a marinade overnight for flavor. I have also removed the giblets and cut the excess skin near the neck and the funny nose looking thing that is the tail. And wrapped the legs with foil to keep them together.

Add Oil to the Deep Fryer Pot

To calculate how much oil to use in the pot, put the turkey in its mounting stand in the pot and fill with water to about an inch and a half below the top of the turkey. This compensates for the volume expansion of the oil when heated. Take the bird out and remember the level of the water. That is how much oil we will need.

Prep an Area for Frying

Place sheets of aluminum foil under the cooker to protect your patio or driveway from the splattering oil. And there will be splatter. So make sure you do this in a safe area out of reach of children or pets,

Connect the gas and check for leaks using soapy water. If it bubbles you've got a leak.

Fill the pot with peanut oil to the previously determined level. Now this oil which is expensive can be reused up to three times before discarding.

Light the gas and start heating the oil with a low flame, gradually increasing until the temperature reaches 325 - 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on weather conditions that is about 20 minutes. You can remove the turkey from the fridge now so that it warms slightly before cooking

Turkey Frying Lengths

For smaller turkeys, 10 to 13 pounds, like the one we have here, we cook for 3 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 14 to 20 lbs turkeys cook at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 1/2 minutes per pound. So our 12 1/2 pounder here will cook for 37 1/2 minutes.

Fried Turkey Precautions

Again there will be splattering of hot oil. So make sure that the turkey is mounted legs up. Or else you'll get a geyser of hot oil spewing from the neck. Wear long sleeved clothing, vinyl apron if you have one, eye protection, shoes, protective gloves.

Make sure the turkey is fully thawed. If ice hits that hot oil it explodes.

Fry the Turkey

Carefully lower the turkey and cook. The temperature will reduce substantially so slowly increase the heat to bring the cooking temperature back up to 325 – 350 degrees depending on the size of the bird.

If the cooking oil ignites from being to hot or spilling over unto the flames turn off the gas and use the lid to extinguish the fire in the pot. Do NOT spray with water!

Remove the Turkey and Cool

When the turkey is cooked, turn off the gas and slowly remove the bird using the grab hook and let the oil drain back into the pot. Place on a wire rack on absorbent paper to absorb any excess oil. Let it cool slightly before carving. That's it!

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