Anyone in the UK deep frying turkeys?

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Anyone in the UK deep frying turkeys?

Postby dbairduk » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am

I have been looking at deep fryed turkeys, and how yummy they look...
Is anyone in the UK doing this? And what kind of size stock pot/equipment are you using?
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Dave
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Postby Chuckwagon » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:27 am

Hi dbairduk,
I’m not from the UK but my mother was. BUT.. I do know how to deep fry a turkey. Here are a few suggestions. I hope this info helps.

About fifteen years ago, at the ranch blacksmith shop, we fashioned a round metal plate for a turkey to rest upon, with drilled holes (for dripping hot oil) and tapped to receive a threaded 3/8" stainless steel rod that was placed through the cavity of a meleagris ocellata. The non-threaded end of the rod was formed into a loop for easy lifting with a hay-bale hook... and we always pre-planned just where to put it down to rest.

You may purchase a turkey deep-frying outfit from Northern Tool or make your own easily. NT uses a 30-quart aluminum stockpot that will hold an 18-pound turkey. It comes with a base with legs and thermometer. The 55,000 BTU gas cooker comes with a hose and regulator but no propane tank. The cost is $74.99 (GBP 123.74) and I bought one for my brother. Found it to be very nice. A cook must be extra careful as hot oil and moisture just do not do well together and wet food will react violently.

Deep-frying a turkey should always be done outdoors and always with only peanut oil. Select a pot with plenty of room to baptize the bird and enough oil to completely immerse it. Determine the volume of oil required by placing the turkey in the pot and covering it with enough water to submerge it with an inch to spare. Mark the side of the pot where the water line appears then, removing the turkey, pat it completely dry. Dump the water, wipe the pot dry, add enough peanut oil to reach the mark, and preheat it to 375° F. (191°C.) using a propane burner frame with straight legs. Although "tented" or angled legs may provide more stability, they have "feet" to trip over while you are handling hot, sizzlin' oil. Please clear away any rocks, long grass, the family dog, and especially children! If possible, have another person help you with the process. Each November, about half a dozen houses burn down in America because of the mishandling of deep-fried turkey oil.

Deep-fried turkey is most tasty! Prepare the turkey by thawing, cleaning, and drying it completely then rubbing it inside the body cavity, and beneath the skin, with butter and your favorite rub n’ spicy mixture. Preheat the oil to 375°F. (191°C.), place the turkey on the stand, attach the steel rod, then lower it very slowly into the oil, minimizing any splattering. The temperature of the oil will drop to about 325°F. (163°C.) when the turkey is added but it should recover to 350°F. (177°C.) quickly. If not, adjust the flame up or down to maintain 350°F. (177°C.). Cook the bird three minutes per pound... plus five minutes. Always allow an additional five minutes cooking time, no matter how large the turkey. Whenever checking the temperature of the meat with a thermometer, insert it in the thickest part of the thigh, being careful to avoid bone. When it is done, the thermometer should read 165 to 170° F. (77°C.) Always allow deep fried turkey to rest for fifteen minutes before carving it.

Lowering and raising the turkey from scalding hot oil is not a last minute consideration. Never - never - never immerse a frozen turkey into hot oil. The handling strategy must be pre-planned with equipment clean and ready to use. Having lifted a fifteen-pound, dripping, hot bird from boiling oil, it is absolutely not the time to start looking around for a place to put it down. My mother was once seriously burned about the arms and chest with hot oil. It is nothing to fool with and I recommend using eye goggles and thick gloves.

Good luck and please let us know how it works out for you. Best wishes, Chuckwagon
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Postby Nutczak » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:24 pm

As chuckwagon mentioned, Please be careful, Watch the video posted here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 617448346# to see exactly what you do not want to happen.

All excess moisture inside of the bird should be drained out and the bird fully thawed to avoid a steam-explosion and resulting 30-foot tall fireball from the vaporized oil lighting off.

His estimate of a dozen homes being burned down seems conservative to me, especially when the fried turkey craze just started out in the late 1990's.

They are good though, and the benefit of having a juicy succulent bird in 1/10th the time is also nice.
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Postby Ianinfrance » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:38 pm

Excellent advice Chuckwagon. Having once made "twice cooked pigeon" where one deep fries previously cooked (and dried) pigeons, only to find one of the pigeons hadn't dried out inside, I can tell you that it's not a pleasant business.

For your interest, Heston Blumenthal did a similar recipe but with previously brined chicken in his attempt to make the best "chicken and chips" in the world.
All the best - Ian
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Postby dbairduk » Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:50 pm

yeh i read up on this quite a bit. 30 quart pots are expensive over here so may see if i can order a full kit from the states.

prehaps i can practice on a chicken first... or does it not have the same effect?
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Postby saucisson » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:57 pm

Ianinfrance wrote:Excellent advice Chuckwagon. Having once made "twice cooked pigeon" where one deep fries previously cooked (and dried) pigeons, only to find one of the pigeons hadn't dried out inside, I can tell you that it's not a pleasant business.

For your interest, Heston Blumenthal did a similar recipe but with previously brined chicken in his attempt to make the best "chicken and chips" in the world.


And HB's first attempt also turned into a fireball if I remember correctly :D

Dave
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Postby Ianinfrance » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:55 pm

Hi Dave,
saucisson wrote:
Ianinfrance wrote: Heston Blumenthal did a similar recipe but with previously brined chicken in his attempt to make the best "chicken and chips" in the world.


And HB's first attempt also turned into a fireball if I remember correctly :D
Dave

Yup. That's right, I'd forgotten.

I did try the brining technique (but roasted afterwards), to see if it improved the choock, but the consensus in this household wasn't very much in favour.
Last edited by Ianinfrance on Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
All the best - Ian
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Postby saucisson » Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:54 pm

Given the nasty burns I got from hot oil in the summer just trying to crisp up the crackling on a small pork joint in an inch of hot oil, I'm staying well away from poultry dunking :D

Dave
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Postby Chuckwagon » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:53 am

dbairduk wrote:
prehaps i can practice on a chicken first... or does it not have the same effect?


Yes it does. When an entire bird is immersed in hot oil, it quickly sears the exterior holding in the natural moisture. It doesn't take long to "deep fry" the bird and 77 degrees C. (170 degrees F.) is the target temperature. Ten degrees over this temperature, and the bird starts to dry out. Chickens are delicious deep-fried. Ask anyone who like the Colonel's recipe at KFC. (although they use vegetable shortening). Remember to completely dry the chicken before immersing it SLOWLY into the oil to avoid an eruption. The flavor is phenomenal! The procedure is a little tricky but safe if you cook outdoors and take proper precautions.
Best wishes, Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it probably needs a little more time on the grill.
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Postby dragoonpvw » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:31 am

Any Brit who has made a plate o chips in a chip pan on the stove has learned most of the requierments necessary for deep frying a turkey. Chucks method of estimating the required oil is the one i use and is essential. Don't know about goggles but I use a nice welders glove for lifting. Gets a bit toasty with your hand over five gallons of boiling oil when lifting out. the complete kits are cheapest and best and are actually cheaper than Chuck worked out as he had the exchange rate mixed up. A nice 30 quart brunswicke setup is $80.00 or about fifty quid.
On the other hand, i was just thinking. get in well with the local chippy and perhaps they will throw one in when they are about to change the oil :-).
I have been deep frying my holiday turkeys for about 12 years and there is little to touch them for succulence and speed. a 12 - 14 pound is best for speed and comfort. I cook two in less time than it takes to do one in a conventional oven.
If you can get a surplus burner from the scout master then a big stockpot will do fine.
I did say though that little touches a deep fried turkey.I have being experimenting the last few years and have found a better system.
That is cooking the turkey at high heat in the oven. a 12 pound turkey is best, completely thawed to room temperature, giblets out and untrussed to let hot air circulate through the center of the bird. convection (fan Oven) setting at about 450 - 500 degrees f. they cook in the quick time as like frying, and are equally as juicy. i have been doing this method for the last 3 holidays.
good luck
Paul
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Postby Chuckwagon » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:11 am

Hi Paul, Nice to hear from you. Thanks for your input about this cooking style. People here just rant and rave about it.
You're right about me confusing the British sterling exhange rate. Just can't get the hang of it - need to find a new conversion chart.
Best wishes, Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it probably needs a little more time on the grill.
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Postby slick4591 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:49 pm

I fry turkeys commercially and bought an electric fryer a few years back. Unless I get crazy and agree to fry a bird over 12 pounds I'll not be using a gas fryer anytime soon. With the electric I fry inside my kitchen since there's no flame. It does just as good a job as gas and I don't have the set up and tear down as I do with gas. Just fill with oil and plug it in.

This is the model I bought, only mine was $100.00 less a few years back.

http://www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-20010 ... 080&sr=8-4
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Postby quietwatersfarm » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:22 pm

Never done a deep fried turkey! We normally avoid it at Christmas and have home shot game, but this year we a 12lb Turkey, and unfortunately it just reminded me why I dont eat the stuff :(

On a deep frying note though, we have been doing lemon brined chicken to the following recipe and I can honestly say its the best I have ever tasted - moist, tender and allows the family to indulge in a luxury version of a KFC type fried chicken (but without the horrid 'crowded chicken shed' visions that I get whenever I see that Colonels sign).


BRINE INGREDIENTS
1 gallon cold water
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
12 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, smashed but not peeled
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 large rosemary sprigs
1 small bunch of thyme
1 small bunch of parsley
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

Bring to a simmer, then cool and add chicken thighs (plenty because this is that good!) for a day or two.

DREDGE INGREDIENTS
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups buttermilk

Remove chicken from brine and dry thoroughly then dip in buttermilk, then dredge, then buttermilk and dredge again :D

deep fry until golden brown and eat with homemade coleslaw.
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Postby Chuckwagon » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:07 am

Wow Quietwaters, that recipe looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Best wishes, Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it probably needs a little more time on the grill.
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Postby wheels » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:07 pm

One more for my recipe book - thanks it looks superb.

Phil
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