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Safety is the most important consideration when turkey frying. Follow these tips for a safe turkey frying experience:
Always use a fresh or fully thawed turkey. Never lower a frozen or partially thawed turkey into the hot oil as it could boil over.
Be sure to remove the giblets and neck from the interior of the turkey - do not stuff turkeys for deep frying.
Right before you are ready to fry, use paper towels to pat the turkey dry inside and out.
When using a propane cooker, please never fry indoors, near flammable materials, or on a wooden deck!
Pick out a level spot in your yard to set up the equipment to fry the turkey. (It is not a good idea to fry over concrete as the oil can stain the surface, if spilled).
It's a good idea to use a drip pan under the fryer just in case.
New electric cookers (as shown to the left), safe for indoor use, are available from Masterbuilt.
Never leave the fryer unattended.
Fill Level - Always make sure your fryer or skillet is not over filled with oil. Most fryers have a recommended fill line. If there is no fill line, you can determine this by first placing your turkey in the fryer and fill with water until the bird is covered. Remove the bird and the remaining water level will show you the fill level for oil. Be sure all the water is removed from the fryer and the fryer is thoroughly dried before putting in the oil. Be sure the bird is also dry and no water is in the cavitiy before placing in the hot oil.
Keep children and pets away from the hot oil.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure that it says that it can be used on a "grease fire". A hose or water-based extinguisher can make the problem worse by spreading the fire and causing splatter.
Use the deep-fat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil as you cook. With a propane cooker, keep temperature at 350°F. Peanut oil will begin to smoke at 440°F. If oil begins to smoke, reduce heat immediately. Most electric fryers have a thermostat to control the temperature.
Wear thick gloves or oven mitts and cover arms with a long-sleeve shirt.
Use a cooking oil with a high smoke point. According to the National Turkey Federation, cooking oils with high smoke points should be used when frying turkeys. Peanut oil has the highest smoke point and most Cajun chefs recommend it. LouAna® Peanut Oil is the leading national brand of peanut oil. It's 100% natural, cholesterol-free and trans fat free.
Do not consume alcohol during the cooking process. Proper safety includes waiting until the turkey is fried and drained, and the pot with the oil has been allowed to cool.
Lower turkey into hot oil carefully. The fresh or thawed turkey must be lowered into the hot oil very carefully to avoid oil splashing or spillage. Again, never lower a frozen or partially frozen turkey into the hot oil.
It is a good idea to use a catch or drip pan under the turkey fryer in case of accidental spillage or boiling over of oil.
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