Deep-frying turkeys for Thanksgiving has gained popularity in recent years. Those who have eaten a deep-fried bird know just how wonderful it can be. It’s a tasty treat that is surprisingly not greasy but juice and crisp in all the right places. The method also cuts down significantly on cooking time. The general rule for deep-frying a turkey is 3 minutes per pound of turkey. It is best to keep the turkey around 10-15 pounds for convenience so frying only takes 30-45 minutes most of the time. That’s pretty good consider that the oven process drags people out of bed around dawn to throw a turkey in the oven. While deep-frying a turkey has great benefits it is a bit of a dangerous undertaking and some precautions need to be followed in order to ensure safety for everyone.
First and foremost getting the right equipment is first step to ensuring a safe turkey-frying experience. There are deep fryers specifically made for turkeys, it is a good idea to invest in one because it keeps everything well contained.
In order to ensure a safe frying experience you must pick the correct spot to do the frying. Under no circumstances should one fry a bird inside. The setup should also not be close to the house or on anything wooden like a deck. An apartment balcony is not a good place for such an adventure. One should pick an open, level spot on the grass or on concrete. The reason for this is simple. The oil is going to splatter and spill. If it happens to catch the flame catastrophe can ensue and nothing destroys a Thanksgiving quite like a fire.
Make sure the space is also people free. You don’t want to many people moving around the fryer. If the oil splatters you don’t want anyone to get burned. At 325-350 degrees serious burns can happen and again an emergency room visit can complete destroy the festivities.
The person in charge of the frying should wear 100% cotton clothing and keep their skin, hands and eyes protected at all times. Polyester fibers will melt and adhere to the skin, can we say ouch!! Regular cooking gloves probably won’t do the job so investing in a heavy duty version is a good bet. Safety goggles are necessary deep-frying equipment as well.
Make sure the turkey that is being used is completely thawed out. If a non-thawed turkey is put into a fryer the water will react with the oil and a pressure buildup will occur. Fryers who don’t follow this precaution may experience a flying turkey phenomenon. The turkey will literally pop out of the fryer spraying blazing hot oil everywhere and sending the turkey airborne.
It is better to be safe than sorry so to ensure a safe turkey deep-fry keep a fire extinguisher or sand nearby in case there are any problems. Do not attempt to put water on an oil fire. It won’t help.
While frying a turkey may seem like a terrifying experience it can be a safe and tasty way to enjoy thanksgiving as long as the proper precautions are taken.