Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Do you like turkey? I've always dreaded having turkey. Who wants a dry turkey you have to smother in gravy? Not me. That's why I LOVE to fry our turkey. How about a turkey that is  juicy with a crispy skin and has a ton of flavor?  That sounds much better! I'm sure you've heard horror stories of how someone fried a turkey and burned their entire house down. If you fry a turkey, all you have to do is be very cautious and follow instructions exactly! So, I've compiled these directions for you if you're a first time fryer. After eating fried turkey, you will never want to eat "normal" turkey again! I Promise!  There are a zillion ways to season a fried turkey and today, I'm giving you the cajun version!

Here's what you will need:
12 lb turkey (You can fry a larger turkey, but I wouldn't suggest anything over 15 lbs. or under 10 lbs.)
3-5 gallons peanut oil
16-32 oz. Marinade (I used Tony Chachere’s  Roasted Garlic & Herb Marinade and Cajun Injector Creole Garlic)

Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
Cavendar's Seasoning (you can also use salt and pepper)
Marinade Injector
Turkey Fryer Pot (you need at least 26 quarts, but if you haven't bought one yet, I would opt for the larger pot)
Burner and Propane tank (usually comes with the turkey fryer)
Oil thermometer
Turkey Stand (usually comes with the turkey fryer)
Turkey Stand Hook (usually comes with the turkey fryer)
Oven Mitts
Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Thawing usually takes approximately 3 days in the refrigerator. if you want to hurry up the process, put the wrapped turkey in the sink filled with cold water. Turn and fill up with cold water again every hour. WARNING: If the turkey is not thawed correctly and fully, the hot oil could boil over and/or cause a fire.
Make sure you take the giblet bag out from the inside (cavity) of the turkey. Take the neck out of the neck cavity of the turkey. Trim the excess skin away from the neck area.
Place the turkey on the turkey stand that came with your fryer (put the neck first, legs up) and put both the turkey and turkey stand in the empty deep fryer pot.

Fill the pot up with water until it entirely covers the turkey.  Next, take the turkey out of the deep fryer and mark the water level so you will know exactly how much oil to put in the deep fryer. WARNING: This step is important because if you put too much oil in the fryer, it could boil over and cause a fire and/or injury.
Set the turkey aside and let it dry. Make sure there is no water on or in the turkey. WARNING: if you leave any water on or in the turkey, this will make the oil bubble and splash on you and could cause a fire.
Go outside and set up your deep fryer. Most turkey fryers are propane, so make sure you place the fryer far away from your house, deck, trees, or anything that could catch on fire.
Using the thermometer that came with your fryer, mount it on the side of the pot where the tip of it is at least one inch into the grease. Fill the fryer to the line you determined earlier with peanut oil. If you're allergic to peanuts, you can use any other type of oil such as corn, canola, etc.... Peanut oil is the best to use if you're not allergic because it can withstand a higher temperature without burning  your turkey. The oil will need to get up to 350 degrees to fry the turkey. Turn on the gas to get the oil hot.
While you prepare the turkey, make sure someone is outside watching the oil for cautionary purposes. WARNING: If you leave the fryer unattended, it could get too hot and catch on fire. Make sure there aren't any animals outside that can tip the fryer over.  Also make sure the fryer is on a flat level surface.
To prepare the turkey: Buy injectable marinade seasoning at the store. We used Tony Chachere’s Roasted Garlic and Herb Marinade and Cajun Injector Creole Garlic. You will need about 2 pints. And, get one that comes with an injector.

Take the turkey off the stand and place it in a pan to season it. Fill up the injector and repeatedly poke it in the turkey. Do this slowly. While you push the needle in slowly, slowly push the plunger. Poke it in the breast, legs, wings, thigh, drumsticks, everywhere about 3 inches apart and inject about 1/4 of the needle every poke. It will bubble out around the needle and saturate the outside of the turkey as well. 

Put the turkey back on the turkey stand, making sure you place the neck first, with the legs up. Sprinkle seasoning outside and inside the turkey. Don't be shy with the seasoning. I usually put a lot!!! We use Tony Chachere’s and Cavendars, but if you don't have those, you can use Cajun seasoning and a little salt and pepper.

When the oil gets up to 350 degrees (which should take about 20 minutes),  get the turkey ready to put in the fryer. As you carry it outside on the turkey stand, place a pan underneath, so you don't drop it. Attach the hook to the turkey stand and slowly lower the turkey into the oil. Stand away from it as far as you can because it WILL bubble over and you do NOT want to get burnt. And, when I say slowly, I mean very very very slowly!!! WARNING:Do not drop the turkey in the fryer because this could cause a fire and/or injury. It should take at least 60 seconds to put the turkey in the fryer.

After the turkey is all the way in, remove the hook from the turkey stand by pushing down to unhook it, then pulling it out. The temperature will drop a little, so make sure you monitor and make sure it gets back up to 325-350 degrees and stays at that temperature. If the temperature gets higher than 350 degrees, lower the gas level on your cooker. WARNING: if you let the turkey get over 350 degrees, the oil could catch on fire and/or cause injury.
You will need to cook the turkey 3-3.5 minutes for every pound of turkey. For example, if you have a 13 lb. turkey, you will need to cook it for 39-45 minutes. Usually, when it's done, it will start to float and will be golden brown. If you're not sure if it's done, you can ease it out of the oil a little and cut a piece off. Make sure you have someone to help you!
Make sure you monitor the temperature at all times to keep it between 325 and 350, so you will not undercook or burn your turkey. You can adjust the flame anytime to adjust the temperature. Never leave the turkey fryer unattended because if it gets too hot, it could start a fire. Do not use the lid on the fryer, leave it off.
When the turkey is done, turn the heat off on your cooker. Re-attach the hook to the turkey stand and carefully remove the turkey. Also make sure you get a pan to put under it so the turkey doesn't fall to the ground, or so you don't drip grease everywhere. 
With a glove, lay the turkey over into a pan to serve!!!
Make sure you let the oil in the fryer cool before you dispose of it. The fryer will be very hot! It could take up to 3 hours.

**DISCLAIMER** Frying a turkey is very dangerous. Do not fry a turkey anywhere near your house or deck, or under any trees, etc.....  FRY A TURKEY AT YOUR OWN RISK. FARM DIVA IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY FIRE OR INJURY THAT COULD BE CAUSED FROM THESE INSTRUCTIONS.
If you have any questions about frying a turkey, please feel free to comment below or email me at I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

1 comment:

  1. This is how I deep fry turkeys and the come out perfect