Deep frying a turkey makes delicious meal, but it requires special equipment and time. This article explains how to cook with a propane-based outdoor fryer. This advanced cooking technique will take approximately 1.5 hours, depending on the size of the turkey. You will need the following:
Fry a turkey outdoors to minimize the risk of fire and smoke damage. The fryer must be placed on a level surface away from combustible materials, children, and pets. Avoid porches and decks and note that oil may stain paved surfaces. A stable dirt, gravel, or grass platform is recommended, though the oil will also kill grass. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and remember that hot oil can cause severe burns.
Only fry turkeys that are 14 pounds or less. Larger turkeys will need to be separated into smaller parts (the legs and breast) and fried individually. Completely thaw the turkey before frying to avoid undercooked meat and health hazards. The turkey should not be stuffed and any foreign materials—the giblets and neck, pop-up timers, strings or plastic, and any packaging—should be removed.
The best way to gauge the right amount of oil for frying is through a water test. Place the turkey and frying basket in the pot and fill with water until the bird is completely submerged. The water should be 3-4 inches away from the lip of the container. If the water is higher, fry the turkey in smaller pieces. Otherwise, remove the turkey, leaving the water in the pot. Measure the height of the water in the pot; this will be equivalent to the amount of cooking oil you will need.
Canola oil or peanut oil is recommended for frying because of their high smoke point and lower saturated fat content. When cooled and filtered through a fine strainer, it is possible to use the oil multiple times. Be sure to properly dispose of the oil.
Preheat the oil to 375 degrees. Clip the thermometer onto the side of the pot, drop in the frying basket, and fill it with oil. Place the pot on the propane burner and ignite it. Monitor the temperature of the oil; it will reach the desired temperature in about 20-30 minutes.
Dry the turkey with paper towels (both inside and out) and attach the hanging hook. Turn off the burner, and using the oven mitts and lifting pole slowly lower the turkey into the oil. Once it is submerged turn the burner back on. The oil should remain between 350 and 375 degrees while the turkey is cooking. Cooking time will depend on the size of the bird, averaging 3.5 minutes per pound.
Cover the large tray in paper towels before you remove the turkey. This will absorb oil running off of the turkey and make cleanup easier. Do not touch the turkey for at least 15 minutes after removing it from the fryer; it will be extremely hot.
When the turkey is done, turn off the burner and remove it with the lifting pole. Place it on the tray and paper towels. Once it has adequately cooled, you may carve and serve the turkey. Refrigerate any leftovers.