Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Safe Turkey Frying a Hot Topic as More Home Chefs Experiment with Southern Thanksgiving Tradition

/PRNewswire/ -- More people are interested in fried turkey than ever before, a scrumptious trend right before Thanksgiving. And with more people sampling the crunchy goodness that comes from the combination of hot oil and succulent poultry, there's an increased demand for preparing the holiday feast safely.

With the right turkey frying recipe, equipment and safety precautions, the only thing that should be ablaze at Thanksgiving are compliments for chefs.

A majority of consumers (58 percent) want a safer way to fry turkey, according to a 2010 survey by Masterbuilt, which makes cooking homemade meals easy by designing and building safe, versatile and quality fryers, smokers and grills. A Georgia family business run by CEO John McClemore, Masterbuilt offers the following turkey frying tips:

* Thaw: Turkeys must be safely thawed before they're fried. Partially frozen turkeys have ice right under the skin. Ice converts to water and then to steam. The means of escape is for the water to turn into a bubble in the hot oil. No ice? No problem.
* Watch pets and children: Monitor your turkey frying. Never leave hot oil unattended. While fried turkey cooks relatively quickly compared to roasting (3-5 minutes per pound, meaning a 12-pound turkey is done in about an hour), it needs to be watched to ensure the meal is the only thing that gets cooked.
* Equipment: Never use a propane unit inside a house, covered porch or garage to fry a turkey. Flames and enclosure spaces are a recipe for trouble and a call to 911. Indoor and countertop preparation is possible only with electric units designed for such use (like the Butterball Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer by Masterbuilt, complete with CSA certification.) Check for safety features, like thermostats to prevent overheating, lids that close and rubber feet that keep fryers safely on countertops.
* Oil: Do not overfill your oil. Let used oil cool completely, overnight if necessary. Oil can be used up to five times before it should be disposed.

"Deep-fried turkeys create memorable family moments. The noise of the bubbling oil, the smell of the frying and the unique taste of the turkey signal a special celebration for families across the country. Traditions are important and so is safety," said McClemore, a chef himself who's authored "Dadgum That's Good," a cookbook of down home favorites. (More info: www.dadgumthatsgood.com.)

Consumers feel positive about fried turkey and would welcome more opportunities to enjoy it, according to Masterbuilt's survey this year. Other survey results include:

* The most common reasons for not having fried a turkey are a lack of equipment (46 percent) and a lack of knowledge about how to fry a turkey (39 percent).
* Consumers who were aware of fried turkey also wished that they could have it more often; with 25 percent saying they would like to eat it at least once a month.
* 62 percent of those who are familiar with the taste of fried turkey agree vs. 16 percent of those who are unfamiliar with the taste of fried turkey.

Recipe: Cajun-Fried Turkey

1 10 to 12 pound fresh or frozen turkey
2 Gallons oil for frying
1 (16-ounce) bottle Butterball Buttery Creole Turkey Marinade
Butterball Cajun Turkey Seasoning to taste


Completely thaw turkey, if frozen. Preheat oil to 400º F. Remove giblets and neck; reserve for other uses. If present, remove and discard plastic leg holder and pop-up timer. Rinse turkey well with cold water; drain cavity. Dry turkey well with paper towels. Inject 1/2 cup marinade into each side of breast. Inject 1/4 cup marinade into each leg and thigh. Sprinkle turkey generously with Butterball Cajun Seasoning. Place turkey, breast side up, in basket. Slowly lower basket into hot oil; be cautious of splattering oil. Maintain oil temperature around

350° F. Fry turkey for 3 1/2 minutes per pound. Remove from oil to check doneness. Insert an instant-read thermometer in the meaty part of the thigh; it is done when it reads 180º F. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels. Let rest 15 minutes. Carefully carve with sharp knife.

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