This tutorial on how to deep fry a turkey takes the intimidation out of the process and prepares you to make a delicious, flavorful, juicy, and crispy turkey from start to finish.
I have smoked a turkey and roasted a turkey, and it only makes sense that I try my effort at deep-frying a turkey. The process of deep-frying turkey has always intimidated me because I always thought you had to fry a turkey using an outdoor propane fryer. That is the one thing I don’t do, which are gas grills and outdoor propane fryers. I don’t know anything about that life, so I would rather not deal with it.
It wasn’t until last year when I found out that you could actually purchase an indoor turkey fryer. I also found out that my mother had one of these fryers in her possession. Of course, I had to give it a shot before determining if it was something I wanted to invest in the long-term.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the day of Thanksgiving last year, where I learned that the fryer idea wasn’t going to work due to technical difficulties. I had to resort to roasting the turkey, which was still delicious. At that point, I made it my duty to fry a turkey as I developed this overwhelming curiosity on how to fry a turkey. Welp, this year I did, I conquered it, and I want to share the entire experience with all of you.
Step 1. Process of brining a turkey
Ever since I learned how to brine meat, I have always brined my turkeys. In fact, I don’t make them without this step first. There are two ways you can create a deep impact of flavor in your turkey. You can create a dry rub and coat your turkey with this rub over and under the skin and allow it to sit overnight. Or you can do what I do, which is brine the turkey.
Typically, I brine a turkey using a simple brine concoction by this brand. However, I have made my own brining solution as well which takes a lot of salt and several other spices and flavors. A simple bringing solution would be:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. Onion powder
- 2 tbsp. Garlic powder
This is the basic ratio I’ve used in the past but you are encouraged to add additional flavors if you are going for a specific flavor profile such as Bourbon, herbs, and soy sauce. The brining recipe I am going to provide you guys today will be your go-to for life!
When brining a turkey, I fill a large pot with my water and bring it to a slight boil. Then, I add my brining mixture to the pot. If you choose not to use the brining solution I use, that is fine, just add the measurement of seasonings as I have mentioned above. Along with that, I add about 2 medium onions, roughly chopped, a whole head of garlic chopped in half, a bunch of fresh herbs, and an orange rind and allow the brining solution to simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then I let the mixture cool completely. You can strain the bringing liquid if you want, I don’t because I am going to rinse the turkey anyways.
Step 2. Preparing your turkey
Whether you are brining turkey or have decided to use a dry rub, you have to let those flavors sit on that bird, minimum, 12 hours. No exception. Once your brine has cooled, you put your bird in a large brining bag, placed inside a roasting pan. Please don’t do this. Do you know how many times I’ve had to clear up brining liquid because it spilled all over the place? Yes, you are going to need something to secure the bag while you pour the liquid over the bird. Once the liquid has been poured, place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 3. Let your bird sit at room temperature.
I know this seems a bit odd, but you need to let that bird sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you place it in the fryer. Before you do that, you need to take the turkey out of the bag and rinse it with cold water. You want that excess salt off the bird so it isn’t too salty. Don’t worry, at this point the turkey is well infused with flavor so you won’t rinse the flavor away. Now, just let it sit out on the counter, while you get the oil in the fryer and ready to go. Allowing the bird to sit at room temperature will make for a crispy skin.
Step 4: Frying your turkey
You are going to want to set your fryer temperature at 300 Degrees. Place the bird in the basket of the fryer and very slowly drop the turkey into the oil and close the lid. The turkey will need about 45 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Depending on how big your turkey is, will determine how long it will take to fry. Typically, it’s about 31/2 minutes per pound. When it’s done, carefully remove the basket from oil and allow the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes. Then, carve as you wish!
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