Thanksgiving has always meant chillier temperatures for me, growing up in Utah and now living in Indiana. I sometimes forget that there are people celebrating Thanksgiving in shorts with the air conditioning on. Why on Earth would someone want to have their oven on all day when the weather is so nice outside? For those of you lucky enough to be in the sunshine at this time of year choosing to grill or smoke your turkey is not only easy, but it frees up your oven for other side dishes and frees up your house from all that extra heat. C’mon, look at that fancy grill outside. You’re the BBQ master during the summer, why not continue your legacy through the holidays? Easy to follow instructions for grilling your turkey can be found here at Butterball.com.
What I’m really excited for? Fried turkey. Have you had it before? I’ll admit I was one of those fried turkey nay sayers, then I had my first taste of fried turkey last year. My world was changed. This year I had the opportunity to make my own fried turkey, and my fellow Thanksgiving friends? If you’re still debating how to cook your turkey, or if you’re worried about oven space, I say prepare to fry.
Butterball has paired with Masterbuilt to produce an easy to use, safe indoor fryer big enough to handle a 20 pound turkey. For my first try I used a 16 pound turkey and there was plenty of room to spare. The biggest difference between my traditional method of roasting vs. frying was the preparation/cooking time differences. Roasting can require as little preparation as opening the turkey and placing it in a roasting pan. However the cooking time is 15-20 minutes per pound. Frying a turkey on the other hand leaves you with a cook time of approximately 4 minutes per pound however there is more preparation involved to be sure that you are safe when it comes time to lower your turkey into the oil.
I started with a fully thawed turkey and while the oil (I used peanut oil) heated to 375 degrees (it took about 45 minutes) I rinsed the turkey inside and out to be sure there were no hidden ice crystals anywhere. I then had to dry the turkey completely inside and out with paper towels to be sure there would be no water to splatter when I lowered the turkey in. Be sure you’re ready to get up close and personal with your turkey if you choose to fry, because making sure it’s dry inside and out is very important. (I’ve seen a lot of turkeys in my day, and the Butterball turkey I fried? Was one of the prettiest. Trust me.)
Then came the big moment. Lowering the turkey in. (Now, I placed my fryer in my garage. While it can easily be used inside, I am currently dealing with a very sensitive pregnancy nose. If you’re using an electric fryer be sure to keep it protected from any moisture. And if you’re using an outdoor fryer, turn the flame off before lowering in your turkey in case of any oil spattering or overflowing.) The design of the Butterball Electric Fryer makes getting your turkey in and out nearly foolproof (find one on Butterball.com or Masterbuilt.com). And the sizzling of the turkey frying? That’s a satisfying sound.
I timed the turkey for approximately 64 minutes (based on 4 minutes per pound) and when the timer went off I pulled it out surrounded by the ‘oohs and ahhs’ of my dinner guests. There isn’t any turkey much prettier than a fried turkey. I checked the temperature in the breast (170) and thigh (185) and knew my turkey was done. I let it rest and drain for the suggested 20 minutes and then pulled it out (made so easy with the included heat proof gloves) carved and served.
Not to brag, but the people I had invited over said it was the best turkey they had ever had. The little girls who were at dinner couldn’t get enough. And I didn’t do anything special. It was so deliciously moist and well flavored. And sorry fryer, but I totally took all the credit.
So what do you think? Are you ready to try frying a turkey? I can assure you once you have try it you’ll want it on more than just during the holidays.