Discover How To Deep Fry The Perfect Turkey

How To Drop Your Turkey Into The Deep Fryer & What Temperature Should The Oil Be?

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This is the 19th post in our series titled “Twenty Two Thanksgiving Turkey Tips”.  Each day between now and Thanksgiving we’ll have a new tip for you.  Today’s tip tells you How To Drop Your Turkey Into The Deep Fryer & What Temperature Should The Oil Be.

So you’re bird is completely prepped, and it’s time to drop it into the oil.  Obviously you’ve heated up your oil, and we know that we’re going to deep fry for 3.5 minutes per pound, at 350° F.  Did you know that the temperature oil the oil will drop when we drop our turkey in?  Conventional wisdom would tell us to drop it in at a MINIMUM of 350° F then, correct?

My advice to you, however, isn’t to heat your oil past 350º F.  Instead, I want you to drop your turkey in when the oil is between 320 and 325º F.

This is a little trick that I’ve learned over the years, that helps keep your turkey nice and moist.  Not only does the lower starting cooking temperature ensure a juice and moist turkey, but it greatly reduces the amount of oil that overflows and bubbles out of the turkey fryer.

The key here is that when you drop the turkey into oil that is only around 320º F, the oil temperature is still going to drop very quickly (below 300º F).  Because we need to cook the turkey at 350º F, it that means that the second you drop the turkey in, you’re going to have to turn up the heat full blast to return the oil back to the ideal cooking temperature (350º F).

Put your turkey on the rack (included with your turkey frying kit), and hook the hanger onto the rack, and hold your turkey above the deep fryer.  I would suggest using over mitts, in case you get any splashing of oil, to protect your hands.

Before we put the bird in the boiling oil, we will turn the flame OFF.  This is another safety precaution, to prevent a fire/fireball from happening in case you didn’t thaw the turkey properly, or you put too much oil in the pot.

This is worth repeating; turn the flame and gas OFF before you put your turkey into the boiling hot oil.

Once you’ve confirmed that the temperature of your oil is between 320 and 325º F, turn off the flame, and then go ahead and slowly lower the bird into the hot oil.  You WILL have some oil splattering, so don’t worry: this is normal.  Continue to lower the bird at a slow but steady pace, until it’s about 90% submerged, then slowly release the hook from the rack.

At this point you might still have some oil splattering.  Again, don’t worry, just get in position (or have your helper) relight the flame as quickly as possible.  Once your flame is relit, you’re going to want to turn up the heat as high as possible, and very closely monitor the temperature.

Now set your timer (remember, 3.5 minutes per pound), and you’re all set!

Here’s a video showing you exactly how to do this:

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