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Step 2: Preparation

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Select a turkey that is large enough for your gathering but not larger than the maximum size recommended for your fryer. Don't be tempted to get one bigger than recommended as it will either not cook correctly or cause the oil to boil over.

Most of the year you will only be able to buy a frozen turkey. Ensure that you start defrosting the turkey a couple of days in advance of the day that you are going to fry. Removing the neck and giblets as soon as possible will speed up the defrosting process.

WARNING - The turkey MUST be completely defrozen. Any frozen flesh will increase the chance of a oil boilover and subsequent fire.

If the turkey isn't completely defrosted you can speed the process up by immersing it in water. Change the water as required to continue the process. I used a large bucket to maximise the thermal mass available.

Once the turkey is defrosted follow the following steps:

  • Remove the neck and the giblets from inside the turkey.
  • Determine the amount of oil needed, see below for details
  • Dry the turkey, both inside and out, with paper towels. All moisture must be removed to reduce the chance of the oil boiling over.
  • Rub a mixture of salt and pepper into the skin of the turkey.
  • Place the turkey onto the stand that comes with the fryer. Do not stuff the turkey, the cavity must be empty.

Oil Measurement

  • Place the turkey into the empty fryer and fill with water until covered. I have found that some of the turkey can be above the liquid level and still cook to perfection; however, there is a limit to how much can be exposed.
  • Remove the turkey. You will need to dry the turkey again with paper towels if you had already done this. The bird must be dry both inside and out prior to frying.
  • Take note of the water level, then empty and dry the fryer
  • Fill the fryer with oil up to the level noted. There will be a maximum fill line, ensure that this is not exceeded.