Planning on frying your turkey for Thanksgiving? Not to put a downer on your holiday cooking but, did you know that annually, deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association?! So let's be safe about it.
Paul Kenny, former VP of Ingredients at Kraft Foods and author of the upcoming (Jan 20, 2018) book, Impromptu Friday Nights, A Guide to Supper Clubs gives us six quick safety tips to frying a turkey:
1. Get a turkey that fits in your fryer
A turkey in the 12 to 15 pound range usually works well. Too large of a turkey increases the chances of oil overflow. Using a smaller turkey also cooks quicker and more evenly. If you are having larger crowd you may need to fry more than one turkey. It only takes about 35 to 45 minutes to fry a turkey.
2. Fully defrost turkey and bring to room temperature
Do not try putting a frozen turkey in hot oil. Use a fresh turkey which has been brought to room temperature - allow for a couple of hours to ensure it has reached the proper temperature.
3. Pre-measure how much oil to put in your fryer
Place the turkey in the fryer before cooking. Then fill the fryer with water until the turkey is fully covered. Then pull the turkey out and mark how much water is in the fryer. Then empty the water out. Fully dry the pot and fill the fryer with oil up to your mark.
4. Fry your turkey outside away from anything that will catch on fire
This seems like an obvious one, but you can’t be too careful. Again there are stories where people have fried a turkey inside or even on a wooden deck that just didn’t end well.
5. Use a fry oil thermometer and take precaution when lowering the turkey into the oil
Heat your oil to 250 degrees and then carefully lower the turkey in. Use the hook unit that comes with the fryer and wear heat resistant cooking gloves and a large sturdy fork to lower the bird in without getting burned. Once the turkey is in, bring the oil temperature up to 350 degrees and cook for 35 minutes.
6. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the bird is done
After the turkey has cooked for 35 minutes, pull it out with the hook, gloves and fork. Then, using an instant read thermometer, make sure the internal temp is 155 degrees. After the turkey is out of the oil it will continue to cook and should reach 165 degrees. The bird should rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.