My Fried Turkey Experience
This year my wife and I decided to deep fry our Thanksgiving turkey; we had done it once before several years ago and it turned out okay. That time we injected the bird with a marinade but found that the flavors were too concentrated in some areas and nonexistent in others. This year we just brined the turkey in brown sugar and kosher salt.
I followed the Food Network’s Alton Brown’s instructions on preparing the bird and he advised to put the bird in the oil at 250° and then raise the temperature to 350; since we have an electric fryer, that was easy to do. It took longer than he said it would to get the internal temperature to 160°. The final result was a good turkey. Not great. Not, “Oh my god, that is the best turkey I’ve ever had!” It was moister than an oven roasted turkey, though. I know many devotees of fried turkey are pretty zealous about their pastime, but ours was a little disappointing (and not just because I had to run to Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving because my wife hadn’t bought enough canola oil). The skin was not as crisp as I expected it to be when it reached its target internal temperature.
The biggest complaint, however, is that the fryer manual advises not to use a bird over 16 pounds; we fried a 14 pounder and the five of us ate the whole thing- no leftovers! Next year we’ll fry two.