Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey Frying

With so much turkey talk out there, I thought I'd mention our favorite way to cook a turkey--frying. This was a popular thing when we lived in New Orleans, but we never learned how to do it there. Then several years ago, we watched a neighbor cook a 20 lb turkey in under two hours and decided that this was something we had to try. (Not to mention the fact that Ward loves them cooked this way.) So Ward got the equipment as a gift for Christmas that year, and the frying began. Below is a post about a turkey we fried for Theodore's birthday last year to give you a little idea about the process and links if you want to learn more.

Birthday Turkey

I live with a family of wannabe carnivores. According to Ward and the boys, meat would be the sum total of every meal if we didn't need those pesky vegetables to stay healthy. Therefore, I was not surprised when Theodore said he wanted a “Meat Event” for his recent birthday. After some discussion, it was decided that the event would be a fried turkey.

Our turkey fryer setup
Everyone I know swears that a fried turkey is the best turkey they've ever had. Also, they claim that since the oil doesn't penetrate the skin, it's still healthy. Well, that's not entirely true, a little of the oil does go into the meat--why else would it taste so good? But overall, it's not a bad choice, nutritionwise, in the meat world.

350 degrees is optimum frying temp.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with frying a turkey, but the concept is simple. Basically, you take a full size turkey, submerse it in hot oil, and fry it until it is done.* The first time we fried a turkey, I was very excited because a large size bird was only going to take about an hour to cook--what a time saver. However, we failed to realize that the setup and the heating of the oil to cooking temperature took a couple of hours. Lunch was a little late that day.

Ward getting ready to carve the turkey.
Ward was the mastermind behind frying the turkey for Theodore's meat event. He beautifully fried a 10 pound turkey most of which was eaten during the birthday meal. Did I mention that the males of the family like meat? We topped the evening off with a birthday cheesecake—but didn't fry it. Maybe next time.

*A word of caution if you are going to try this at home. A frozen turkey can explode in the hot oil.