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Saturday, June 26, 2010

I WISH you could fry turkey in cast iron

It's a known fact that cast iron is best for frying. I wish you could fry turkey in cast iron. But, there are no cast iron turkey frying pots.

Frying turkey is a holiday tradition here in cajun country. It's much faster than oven roasting, and very delicious.

It can also be dangerous. Please read the instruction manual entirely! Never fry turkey indoors; Keep pets and children away; Have a fire extinguisher handy; Never leave the fryer unattended; Never overfill the oil; Never attempt to fry a frozen turkey.

Once again, NEVER attempt to fry a frozen turkey. Buying fresh is best, and make sure it's dry. If you must buy frozen, defrost COMPLETELY.

It's not recommended to rub seasonings on a turkey before frying, but you can inject marinades.

You need a propane burner. I do not recommend King Kooker products due to their quality; I recommend the Bayou Classic model SP10, which is a turkey fryer AND crawfish boiler in one unit.

Most outdoor burners are designed for boiling OR frying, but not both. With the SP10, you don't need two separate appliances because the flame can be adjusted to high for boiling, or low for frying.

This model is not to be confused with sp14, which looks similar, but is low BTU for frying only. Sp1 is high BTU for boiling only.

Next, you need a turkey pot. Turkey pots need to be tall and slender, so as not to waste very expensive peanut oil. I recommend Bayou Classic model 1118, which is 32 quart, stainless steel.

Aluminum is cheaper, but stainless steel is easier to clean, lasts longer, and aluminum doesn't leach into the food. Turkey pots should come with a special turkey rack and lifter, and a thermometer.

You should get a drain rack to place the turkey on, once it's lifted out of the fryer. They are sold separately. Don't use wood, because of the hot oil.

You need a table set up outside, with a pan for the done turkey. Poultry lifting forks are also handy.

You need frying oil. Peanut oil is best, and very expensive. LouAna offers "southern frying oil", a peanut oil blend that is less expensive.

Most turkey pots have a maximum oil line for your size turkey, but if not, place the packaged turkey in the pot, fill it with enough water to 1 inch above the turkey, and remove the turkey. The water level is your oil level. Dry the pot before adding oil.

Pour in the right amount of oil, clip the thermometer on the pot, and turn on the burner. The thermometer is for the oil, not the turkey.

Wait for oil to heat to almost 350. Don't let it get above 350; If it does, adjust the flame.

Place the turkey vertically on the turkey rack and SLOWLY lower it into the oil. Do NOT drop!

Fry turkey 3 1/2 minutes per pound, or until golden brown. Turn off the burner, slowly lift turkey out of the pot, let it drain, then put it in the pan to serve.

Let the oil cool before attempting to clean the pot. Some people like to recycle the oil and use again, since it's so expensive.

You can buy a filter pump, or carefully pour into a large funnel with coffee filters, back into its original container. You can freeze peanut oil; Don't reuse if it's rancid.

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