When Thanksgiving gets a little closer, you may start pondering changing up your traditional turkey for a deep fried one. There are a lot of deep fried turkey recipes around the web, which reflect the popularity of this particular culinary approach to the ever-delicious turkey. Of course, what recipe you choose depends heavily on taste preferences. No matter what, however, there are some things you should know about deep frying turkey before you begin.
Advantages & Disadvantages
The good part about deep frying a turkey is that it's very fast and very flavorful. If you happen to be a fan of crunchy skin – be ready to fight over every inch. Overall, deep frying makes for a tender, juicy turkey.
On the down side if you're on a diet, deep fried turkey recipes will not help much (mind you, I think holidays should be a time to give your diet a break!). Your turkey may taste oily if it's not drained completely. Also improper use of a turkey deep fryer can be very dangerous.
Dry Rub, Injection or Both?
Some people swear by dry rubs as the key to their succulent deep fried turkey recipes, others prefer injecting marinade into the meat, while a third group says, "hey go for the gusto – do both!" I confess I'm in this group, being a big flavor junkie.
Having said that, a rub is a much safer route when deep frying your bird. Why? Because with an injection, you have to be certain to get the marinade into the meat, NOT under the skin. Any marinade under the skin will spatter when you fry, sending hot oil everywhere. And ending up with nasty burns on your face is not the best way to celebrate the holidays.
There are several details that some deep fried turkey recipes leave out– usually safety precautions you can take to make sure you get to enjoy this treat completely without incident.
O Make sure you have a big enough pot to fully cover your turkey with oil and have several inches to spare.
O Use good cooking gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes from spattered oil.
O Keep a fire extinguisher handy – you're using a LOT of oil and should it boil over or splash just right, you can easily end up with a grease fire.
O Make sure your turkey is room temperature when you add it to the oil.
O Keep children and pets away from the area where you're deep frying.
O Cook your turkey outdoors in a well ventilated area, away from any structures. Never make any deep fried turkey recipes in an enclosed space or a building!
O Make sure your fryer is on level ground (dirt or grass is best).
O When you're done, leave the oil to cool completely before storing.
Sample Fried Turkey Recipe:
This is just one example of the many great deep fried turkey recipes you can try. Do not be afraid to get creative with it!
Turkey and Rub Ingredients:
1 12 pound turkey whole
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Poultry seasoning
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Orange zest
Step 1: Defrost the turkey completely, cleaning it inside and out, then rub the outside of the bird with the spice mixture and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day let the bird come to room temperature while you make the marinade (about 45 minutes).
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup orange blossom honey
12 oz. Ale
2 tsp. Garlic juice
1 tsp. Onion powder
Whip these six ingredients in your blender. Using a meat injector, inject this mixture deep into the meat of the turkey (using most of it for the breast).
Heat your frying oil to 375 degrees F. When the temperature's right, carefully lower the bird into the oil and cook it for 3-4 minutes per pound. You want the internal temperature of the breast to reach 180 degrees. Drain thoroughly cavity-side-down and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.