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The BlueSmoke Gazette--Frying Turkeys
November 25, 2009

Frying Turkeys, With & Without Oil

Frying turkeys used to mean just one thing…carefully lowering a whole turkey into a pot of hot oil. That's still a great way to fry 'em, but now you can fry turkeys without oil too. That's exactly what I did to the nicely browned bird in the picture to the right. The contraption I used, a Char Broil Big Easy Infrared Turkey Fryer, is a pleasure to use. It saves me a lot of money, too.

Traditional Deep Fried Turkey

Frying a turkey in oil requires a lot of preparation, and a watchful eye every minute that the oil is hot.

If you've bought turkey fryer oil lately, I'm sure you felt like shedding a tear or two when the time came to pay up. I've seen 3 gallon cartons of peanut/vegetable oil blends made for frying turkeys costing nearly $40.00! And since it's recommended that oil be used only two or three times, making deep fried turkeys has become an expensive proposition.

Deep Frying Turkey - How It's Done

  • Determine the amount of oil needed - Place the turkey into the frypot and fill it with just enough cold water to cover. Remove the turkey and mark the water level. Drain and dry the pot thoroughly. If there's a spigot, open it up and make sure there's no water hiding there.

  • Locate the burner stand - Place the burner on a solid, stable surface, away from flammable materials. A concrete or stone patio is ideal. Never set up on a wooden deck. Attach the propane tank to the burner and check for leaks at each connection.

  • Prepare the turkey - Dry the turkey thoroughly, inside and out.

    Oil-less Turkey Frying

    Using an infrared turkey "fryer" to cook turkeys is an excellent option to traditional deep fat frying. They are much easier to use than conventional fryers, safer to work with, and the quality of the cooked turkey is pretty darned good! The manual says to allow 15 minutes per pound when cooking turkeys, but the last one I cooked (a 12 pounder) took just 2 1/2 hours, just over 12 minutes per pound.

    The Char Broil Big Easy I have works like a charm. It's construction is fairly simple, consisting of the outer shell, the removable radiant insert, a turkey basket, a lift handle, an expanded metal cover, a meat thermometer, and a drip pan to catch the juices.

    The heat source a propane ring burner that lies at the bottom of the outer shell. Direct heat from the flame never contacts the food, but rather heats up the insert, which then radiates heat into the turkey. Fumes from the propane flame are vented out the top of the unit.

    The metal cover holds heat in the cooking chamber (inside the removable radiant insert). A small hole in the bottom of the insert allows juices to drip out, into the removable drip pan. The burner is easy to light with the built in spark igniter.

    If you haven't tried one of these yet, you might consider giving one a try, especially if you enjoy fried turkeys. And without the need to buy frying oil, you'll be able to afford turkeys more often. Learn more about the Char Broil Big Easy Oil less Turkey Fryer.

    All About Turkeys

    Turkey Smoking Tips
    Tips and techniques that will make your turkey smokin' easier.

    More Turkey Smoking Tips
    More tips and info for making the best smoked turkey possible.

    Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey
    One of my recipes that I used for one Thanksgiving turkey I smoked.

    Grill Smoked Turkey
    You can smoke turkey on a grill, too.

    Smoked Wild Turkey
    Are you a turkey hunter? Try smoked wild turkey breasts. They are excellent!

    Smoked Turkey Breast
    Smoking turkey breasts is an easier option to smoking the whole bird. Great if you're a white meat lover, or prefer the lower calorie, lower fat white meat for healthy eating.

    Wet or Dry Turkey Rub
    This rub recipe can be used dry, or mixed with vegetable oil to use as a wet rub.

    Turkey Brine Recipes
    A few of my favorite turkey brine recipes.

    Making Turkey Brine
    Instructions for making turkey brine that works best. Boiling the salt water first makes it permeate into the turkey flesh more efficiently.

    Super Smoked Turkey Legs
    Fun recipe for smoking turkey legs.

    Reheating Turkeys
    Tips for reheating a smoked turkey.

    Turkey Tutorial
    Smoked Turkey, the Turkey Smokin' Tutorial. This one explains the process start to finish, and makes use of a lower smoker temp for a deeper smoke flavor.

    Smoking Cut Up Turkey
    Benefits of smoking a turkey that's been cut up, as opposed to smoking it whole.

    Water Smoker Turkey
    Should you use the water pan filled with water or flavorings?

    More On Turkeys

    Cooking Half of a Turkey
    Sometimes a whole turkey is just too much. Have the butcher cut your frozen turkey in half for just the right amount.

    Electric Smoking Turkeys
    Will an electric smoker do a good job of turkey smokin'?

    Smoking Turkey Weber Smoker
    The Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker is the best vertical charcoal water smoker around, in my honest opinion. See how it's used to make ultimate smoked turkeys.

    Grilling Turkey Weber Kettle
    Weber Kettle grills, used with the indirect method of grilling, cook up some pretty awesome turkey too!

    Gas Grill Turkey
    Gas grills can be used with great success when it comes to turkeys.

    Apple Turkey
    Apple juice flavors turkeys nicely.

    Teriyaki Wings
    A big sized appetizer, or an interesting main course. Try Turkey Wings.

    Electric Smoker Turkey Recipe
    Electric smoker turkey smoking is one way to go.

    Turkey Brining Containers
    The best thing to brine turkeys in is an insulated water cooler...the perfect shape and size. And it keeps turkeys cold!

    Turkey Done Temperature
    When do you take that turkey out of the smoker or grill? If you go by internal temperature, you'll always have turkey at its best.

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