Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Deep Fried Turkey

One of my favorite things to eat for Thanksgiving is deep fried turkey. Last year we followed Alton Brown's recipe and the turkey was magnificent!

6 quarts hot water
1 pound kosher salt
1 pound dark brown sugar
5 pounds ice
1 (13 to 14-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
Approximately 4 to 4 1/2 gallons peanut oil*
*Cook's Note: In order to determine the correct amount of oil, place the turkey into the pot that you will be frying it in, add water just until it barely covers the top of the turkey and is at least 4 to 5 inches below the top of the pot. This will be the amount of oil you use for frying the turkey.

Place the hot water, kosher salt and brown sugar into a 5-gallon upright drink cooler and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Add the ice and stir until the mixture is cool. Gently lower the turkey into the container. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure that it is fully immersed in the brine. Cover and set in a cool dry place for 8 to 16 hours.
Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Place the oil into a 28 to 30-quart pot and set over high heat on an outside propane burner with a sturdy structure. Bring the temperature of the oil to 250 degrees F. (We found the peanut oil at Bass Pro)

Once the temperature has reached 250, slowly lower the bird into the oil and bring the temperature to 350 degrees F. Once it has reached 350, lower the heat in order to maintain 350 degrees F.

After 35 minutes, check the temperature of the turkey using a probe thermometer. Once the breast reaches 151 degrees F, gently remove from the oil and allow to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to carving. The bird will reach an internal temperature of 161 degrees F due to carry over cooking.

Carve as desired.

If you are going to try deep frying your bird I suggest watching Alton Brown's series of videos on YouTube...he is a wealth of knowledge. JCW killed our turkey this year and it's 20 pounds which unfortunately is too large to deep fry so we will be roasting our bird and of course brining it over night. I am fully confident that our turkey will still be delicious with JCW at the helm.


Reggie Darling said...

I went to a Thanksgiving party last year where the turkey was cooked as you write in your post. It was the best turkey I have ever eaten! Astonishing. It was served at a large gathering, and was therefore an immense bird, almost thirty pounds. The host and hostess said that the next time they made one (at least one that large) using the deep fry method that they planned to buy the cooking oil at Costco, instead of in the Manhattan grocery store where they did, since the oil they bought cost almost as much as the bird, given the quantity required. I hope that you will enjoy your bird this year, even though it is too big for the fryer. Ours will be oven-roasted, too. Reggie leaves such techniques as you describe to those of a sterner stuff than he!

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

That peanut oil can be very pricey especially for a 30 pound bird…especially when it comes from Dean & Deluca! Hopefully they were able to reuse it a few times. I know JCW saved the oil and used it for another turkey on Christmas. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving…I can already taste the mashed potatoes! xx

James said...

I have never had deep fried,but it looks wonderful. Hats off to JCW for bagging the main course. Too cool! Have a great

Whitney and the Preppy Puppy said...

Our beaus must meet- they both seem to be deep fried turkey specialists. Dave uses an Emeril receipe but I emailed him your Alton version.

The first year Dave bought the fryer, we had something deep fried almost every week it seemed. Several turkeys, a bunch of chickens, homemade sweet potato fries, the list goes on and on. This year Dave promised to only do one fried thing a month. :-) He's cooking the turkey at his dad's house this year and sadly I'll miss it (I'll be with my mother and sister). But he promised to bring a few slices home for me.

Enjoy your oven roasted bird. That is my favorite way to prepare turkey. I am sure yours will be fantastic. Happy Thanksgiving!

Prippy Handbook said...

We just threw a turkey fry party last weekend with friends on Capitol Hill. After 4 turkeys, beer, wine, and cornbread stuffing with brussel sprouts... the party was deemed a massive success!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ally said...

Our neighbors always deep fry their turkey!! Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving! :)

Main Line Sportsman said...

Turkey Hunting is no easy I commend your man for bringing one home for the table...
And I agree that deep frying is great...and the brining really is the key regardless of cooking method. Happy Thanksgiving.

Buckhead Belle said...

YUM! I love a deep fried turkey as well! Hope y'all have a happy thanksgiving!

JMW said...

Looks delicious! I've always been a little scared of doing that - I would definitely have Hubby at the helm so as not to suffer any injuries! Happy Thanksgiving!

DSS said...

I have yet to try one of these. My mother is terrified we will burn the house down. As soon as I can swing Thanksgiving at my house we are doing it :) Mmmmm.....

ERR said...

Love deep fried turkey! Happy Thanksgiving! xo

Kerr said...

best way to do a turkey!!