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Frying a Turkey Gets a Bit More Expensive This Year

The tradition of cooking a turkey has changed over the past few years. While I like the traditional oven-baked turkey with stuffing, there is something about a fried turkey that excites the taste buds.

The taste is totally different and the skin is so crispy. Some people like to marinate it, inject it or brine it (but do not use sugar in your brine or you get a black turkey). A friend of mine coats the turkey with mayonnaise and then seasoning. I've found that good old garlic pepper and seasoning salt work best. The mayonnaise coating is just a light coat that helps the seasoning stay in place and provides a little extra flavor.

Let me warn you: it is not cheap and it is not without a little bit of a mess to deal with.

The preparation: A turkey frying kit will cost around $60, plus you need about three gallons of peanut oil at about $40 and a turkey of no more than 12 pounds at $12. Total cost is around $112 the first time.

Next, you need an outside setup on the grass that may get ruined by some of the hot oil. Do not do this in your house garage or any place a greasy fire cannot be contained.

The proper way to determine the amount of oil is to place the turkey in a pot, and then fill it with water until the turkey is just covered. Take the turkey out of the water and mark where the top of the water is. Empty the water from the pot. Dry the pot and then fill it with peanut oil to where your line is marked.

Make sure you dry the turkey exceptionally well since water and oil will create an eruption that is not a pleasant experience. Take out the bag with the gizzards and neck.

Season the turkey inside and out (you can also inject the turkey with a marinade). I like to let the turkey stand for a few hours or overnight with it seasoned and then fry it. The cooking time is about three minutes per pound plus 15 minutes (for example a 10 pound turkey: 10 pounds times 3 minutes equals 30, plus 15, creates a cooking time of 45 minutes). The oil should be at 350 degrees but even 300 to 325 works. Go over 400 degrees and the oil can ignite, so please be sure to monitor the temperature. If there is a good breeze blowing, a shield around the flame made out of metal or brick can help keep the oil hot by blocking the side the breeze is blowing.

After the oil reaches 350 degrees, lower the turkey very carefully, Gloves help keep the hot oil from splashing on your hands and long paints and shoes keep your legs and feet from getting scalded. Set the timer and about 45 minutes later the turkey is done. Usually the turkey is floating and has a nice brown crispy color. Shut off the gas and remove the turkey.

Let it rest, and then enjoy!

The oil can be reused, so after it cools, strain the oil and save it for another time. Since you have the oil all set, before your empty the oil you may want to buy some wings and fry them up during half time, while watching some football on Sunday. Use a basket if you have one. Just take the wings, cut them up and fry in 350 degree oil until they float. They can stay in a little longer to get them crispy. While they are cooking get some buffalo wing sauce heated up or create your own with some crystal and butter with a little apple cider vinegar.

When the wings are done put them in a big bowl and put in the sauce, mix up and enjoy!


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