How to Deep Fry Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving would never be complete without turkey on the dining table. Currently, most homemakers cook their turkeys in the oven, but deep frying the turkey is faster and a lot more tasty. If you expect that the turkey would taste greasy, you're in for a surprise. The taste is moist and delicious and not greasy at all.

You will also be surprised at how much time you save when you decide to deep fry. For most birds, it only takes about 30-45 minutes or so. Plan on about 3 minutes per pound of turkey and try and keep turkey size between 10-15 lbs. The procedure is easy to do and reasonably safe. As long as you keep safety considerations in mind, frying your bird does not need to be a hazardous undertaking.

Safety First

This is most important. Due to the enormous amount of oil used to deep fry turkeys, you should only ever do this outside in a cleared area. Also, before undertaking your dinner preparations, be sure to get yourself a really good pair of outdoor cooking gloves. You do not want to get burned or scalded by spitting oil, fat and steam. Your kitchen gloves will likely be inadequate so invest in a sturdier pair. Safety glasses are also a good idea and it is best to have a fire extinguisher and / or a bucket of sand nearby in case of accidents.

Now you'll just need to:

1. Determine the amount of oil needed by putting the turkey in a deep fry basket and dipping it into a 40-60 quart pot for frying. You can buy specially made turkey fryers just for the occasion and I would highly recommend it, since you are likely buying a pot anyway. Add water until about two inches on top of the bird. Remove the basket with turkey and measure the amount of water. You'll need the same quantity of oil.

2. Marinade the turkey with flavors and seasonings before deep frying. You can also inject it with seasonings and marinades to increase the flavor. Alton Brown suggests brining the turkey, so that's another way to go as well.

3. Use a candy thermometer and heat the oil in the pot to about 325 degree Fahrenheit. After about 20 minutes, the temperature should be reached and you can start slowly dipping the turkey into the fry basket.

4. It takes around 3 minutes for each pound of turkey. Do a little math and calculate how much it would take based on the total weight in pounds of the bird. The turkey's temperature should be at least 170 degrees in the breast meat and at least 180 degrees in the thigh of the bird. Be sure to use a thermometer to get an accurate temperature. Do not guess.

In 30-45 minutes for most birds, you would have your deep fried turkey ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Eat the turkey right away and make sure any leftovers go into the fridge within about two hours of cooking it.