With Thanksgiving in Encinitas fast approaching us, I would like to provide my readers with a series of blog posts about Thanksgiving recipes to help you plan the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner at your Encinitas house this year, to complement your home made centerpiece of a cornucopia for Thanksgiving. Today I am going to cover the main ingredient in Thanksgiving Dinner – The Turkey!
If you have never had deep fried turkey before, well you just haven’t had the best turkey ever yet! Deep fried turkeys originated where most fried food originates – the South. However, more and more people across the country are finding out the secret about deep fried turkeys – they are absolutely delicious. I plan on deep frying a turkey this Thanksgiving in Encinitas and I want to go over the preparation, cooking, and recommendations for deep fried Thanksgiving Turkey.
*** WARNING: Never deep fry a turkey without first completely DEFROSTING THE TURKEY. Those commercials for Allstate are not joking – putting a frozen turkey in scalding hot oil will lead to an EXPLOSION and possible damage to your Encinitas home. Be sure that the turkey is completely defrosted before deep frying it. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
A turkey deep frier costs around $100 to $150 which you will need to purchase, along with a propane gas tank and burner, a deep fry thermometer to test oil temperature, a meat thermometer to test meat temperature, and plenty of oil (3 to 5 gallons worth) with a high smoke point like canola oil, corn oil or peanut oil. Be sure to stage the deep fryer OUTSIDE on flat ground or grass, away from your house in Encinitas. NEVER DEEP FRY A TURKEY INDOORS.
- Preparing Your Turkey – Smaller turkeys work best, so limit the weight of the turkey to no more than 14 or 15 pounds. Be sure the turkey is completely defrosted. Feel free to inject the turkey breast and thighs with your favorite marinades before you deep fry the turkey. Note: it will still taste absolutely delicious even without marinade!
- Measuring Oil Amounts – Place the turkey in the basket or on the hanger of your deep fryer, and fill the pot with water until it is a few inches above the turkey. Make a note of where that line is, remove the turkey, empty the water, dry the pot, and fill the pot with oil to that line so you know that you will have enough oil to fully submerge the turkey.
- Deep Frying Your Turkey – Heat the oil to between 325 and 350 degrees which should take no longer than a half hour to heat. Hang the turkey on the hanger or place it in the basket (whichever your deep fryer has) and slowly lower the turkey into the oil. Count on around 3 minutes per pound to cook the turkey, and be sure not to overcook it. Measure the temperature of the cook turkey with the meat thermometer. You will know the turkey is cooked when the breast temperature is about 170 and 180 in the thighs.
- Eating the Deep Fried Turkey – Try not to eat too much turkey too fast. As delicious as the turkey may smell and taste, you may feel the need to take a nap afterward, where you will surely dream of eating more deep fried turkey!
- Cleaning Up – Be sure to let the oil fully cool off, which may take several hours. It is best to have the oil cool overnight, or whenever you wake up from your long nap resulting from eating too much fried turkey!
Feel free to contribute to this recipe for fried turkey this Thanksgiving in Encinitas, and include any marinating tips, cooking tips, or tips on where to find the best deep fryers in Encinitas.