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Food Thanksgiving is here: How to fry a turkey and live to tell about it

02:10  25 november  2020
02:10  25 november  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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John Bass demonstrates how to fry a turkey .(Evans Caglage / Staff Photographer). If it rains, scrap the project unless you have a covered patio. What and how to inject: You can buy bottled injection marinades at most supermarkets or at an outdoor cooking store. Some folks even inject bottled Italian

Many Americans look forward to fried turkey over the holidays. The juicy, injected meat and crispy skin are hard to beat for flavor and texture.

The cooking process, however, can be intimidating. Gallons of hot oil, combined with an open flame, can be a recipe for disaster if not treated with respect.

With that in mind, Lance Monk of St. Martin, Mississippi who has successfully fried turkeys for decades without burning down his house — or anything else, for that matter — gives advice on how to safely fry a turkey.

a man holding a donut: Frying a turkey requires heavy clothing to protect against oil spatter. © Associated Press Frying a turkey requires heavy clothing to protect against oil spatter.

Size of turkey matters

Monk, who cooks up to a dozen turkeys during the holiday season for friends and family, said selecting the right bird is key.

How to thaw a frozen turkey

  How to thaw a frozen turkey Every holiday season, home cooks around the country planning their Thanksgiving feasts have one question: How do I thaw a frozen turkey? But worry no more. We have two foolproof methods to getting your bird from frozen rock-solid to oven-ready. The Best Thanksgiving Recipes The safest and easiest way to thaw a frozen turkey is to put it in the refrigerator. However, this defrosting method does require some shifting around. To thaw a turkey using this method, take the turkey out of the freezer but keep it in its wrapping. Clear plenty of space on the bottom shelf of your fridge and place a baking tray with sides on it. Place your turkey breast-side-up on the tray.

Click here to message the /r/LifeProTips moderators. I had turkeys for a brief time. I say brief because both the tom and the hen beat the ever living hell out of me whenever I If you find yourself on Thanksgiving morning with a partially frozen Turkey , you can defrost it rapidly by putting in the

Get great tips on how to fry a turkey including using a turkey injector marinade and turkey cooking times her pound. Impress your guests this Thanksgiving If you're looking for a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey that is both fast and delicious, why not consider deep frying the bird.

"The best turkey is between 12 and 13 pounds," Monk said. "A 12-pound turkey is best because you don't burn up the wings. Bigger than 14 and you burn up the wings and they're inedible."

Monk also noted that keeping the weight consistent helps the cook learn the process and cooking time better.

The turkey needs to be completely thawed before frying. Monk places frozen turkeys in a refrigerator three nights before cooking to thaw.

"If you drop a frozen turkey in 350-degree oil, you're going to have a problem," Monk said.

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Prepping the turkey

Prepping the bird starts the night before cooking. The first thing he does is remove the giblet pack and neck. Next, he injects the turkey with a Creole butter marinade and places it in a roasting pan lined with newspaper to soak up any marinade that leaks. No, this is not a shameless plug for newspapers. Monk said it works best. Then the turkey goes back in the refrigerator.

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The following morning, he injects it a second time. However, this time he puts a cookie cooling rack in the pan so the turkey is not sitting in drained marinade. For those who aren't familiar with injecting poultry, Monk said just follow the instructions on the bottle.

When he's heating the oil to cook, Monk places the bird on the frying rack and allows it to drain for at least 20 minutes before he places it in the fryer.

a close up of a sandwich on a plate: The deep-fried turkeys are golden and crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. © Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The deep-fried turkeys are golden and crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.

Time to fry: How much oil?

Determining how much oil you need needs to be done ahead of time. Before you inject the bird, place it in the frying pot and fill with water until it is just covered. Remove the turkey and mark the water level inside the pot. That tells you how much peanut oil is needed. If you're cooking multiple birds, use the largest to determine how much oil is required. Monk said a 5-gallon container of peanut oil will do the job with some left over.

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Now you're ready to cook. Fill the pot with oil up to the mark inside the pot. Light the burner and place on medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees, then turn the burner off. This prevents a potential fire if the oil bubbles over while putting the turkey in.

"If there's no flame, there's no fire," Monk said. "When you're putting it in and taking it out, turn the flame off. Anytime there's potential for oil flowing over the top, cut the flame off."

Slowly lower the turkey into the oil using a turkey frying rack and hook. Monk said it's going to bubble and spatter, period. If it looks like it may bubble over, lift the turkey partially out of the oil until the bubbling slows and then continue immersing it. Once it's in and the bubbling has slowed, place the top on with a slight opening on one side for steam to escape.

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Turn the burner back on and monitor the temperature. Keep the temperature between 325 and 350 degrees and cook for 3½ minutes per pound. Once the time is up, turn the burner off, remove the bird and cut into the inside of the thigh joint. If there's blood, return it to the fryer for a few additional minutes.

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Once the turkey cools to the point it can be handled, carve and enjoy.

Safety tips when frying a turkey

Here's a quick list of rules and suggestions anyone frying a turkey needs to know.

  • Always wear heavy pants, thick shoes, heavy gloves and a heavy apron while frying. Monk said if you don't follow this advice, you'll soon learn the error of your ways.
  • Always fry turkeys outdoors. Never fry them indoors.
  • Always keep children, pets and elderly  guests who may become distracted well away from the cooking area. Remember, you're dealing with gallons of hot oil and an open flame.
  • Always follow the instructions that come with your cooker.
  • Never leave the cooker unattended until the burner is off and the oil has cooled.
  • Never attempt to fry a turkey that isn't completely thawed.
  • Break down cardboard boxes and place them on the ground in the cooking area to catch any oil spatter.
  • Keep the propane tank as far away from the burner as possible.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy.

"The main thing is use common sense," Monk said. "If something looks unsafe, it probably is. So, don't do it."

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Thanksgiving is here: How to fry a turkey and live to tell about it

The Real Reason Thanksgiving Is on the Fourth Thursday of November .
Unlike other holidays, the date of Thanksgiving changes every year. This is the real reason we celebrate on the fourth Thursday in November.As it turns out, this piece of Thanksgiving history dates all the way back to Franklin D. Roosevelt. While Abraham Lincoln gave the holiday a semi-defined date when he declared the last Thursday in November to be the official date of Thanksgiving observation during his 1863 proclamation, things became complicated when, in both 1933 and 1939, November ended up having not four weeks, but five.

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