Perilous, yet delicious: Deep Frying a Turkey

Rebekah Ferguson , Staff Reporter

When thinking about a Thanksgiving meal, the turkey is the centerpiece; the quintessential Thanksgiving turkey is roasted. This is the safe route, but it often leads to undesirable effects.  I had accepted the fact that turkey was destined to be a dry hunk of poultry.

That was until my Aunt decided to fry the turkey. That year was the first thanksgiving where I actually had a second helping of turkey.

Deep frying anything locks in flavor and gives awesome texture and crunch.  In summation, it makes it ah-may-zing!

There are many deterrents in deep frying the turkey. First, you need a turkey fryer. They can be really pricey, so whether it is worth it or not depends on the family.

What scares many a turkey enthusiast are the disaster videos posted all over the internet.  Plumes of fire and smoke explode from the fryer, while frantic people run, eyebrows ablaze.

These people are the exceptions. If you do it right then nothing should go up in smoke.

There are many rules with deep frying a turkey, and it requires a lot of attention.  You have to be willing to put in time and effort.

Here are some things NOT to do when deep frying a turkey:

  • Have excess water – excess water causes oil to splatter.  This includes frozen or partially frozen turkeys, and make sure your bird is completely patted dry if it has been left in a brine! Make sure inner cavity is dry!
  • Have too much oil- if placing a bird in hot oil isn’t dangerous enough, having oil spill over the edge is worse.
  • Leave it alone- if something should happen, you need to be there to rectify it, immediately
  • Leave it indoors or near an overhang: just to be safe, don’t keep it near your house
  • Fry on an unleveled, combustible surface.
  • Use an uncertified deep fryer. Stranger danger, you can’t know that it doesn’t have problems unless it is certified.

The bottom line is to just bring a fork and a fire extinguisher.