Fry a Better Bird: Tips for a Flavorful Holiday Turkey
Turkey frying has long been part of our family tradition. In fact, we’ve been deep frying a bird every Thanksgiving since 1986. That’s long before the trend swept backyards around the nation. We even had to build our own turkey fryer for the occasion. (Bacon Up Corporate Note: we do not endorse this “creative” behavior please only use professionally manufactured equipment approved for turkey frying.)
By 2016, we were ready to experiment with our original recipe. That’s when we married our holiday frying ritual with our love of bacon. The turkey fried in bacon grease was an instant hit. After that Thanksgiving, there was no way we were going back to boring cooking oils.
Location, Location, Location
When frying a turkey, it’s important to do it in a safe location. Never fry inside, on your deck, in a garage or under any structure with an overhang. Choose a flat, even surface in an open area away from the house. Also, make sure your frying setup is well out of the way of running children, pets and adults.
Measure Twice, Fry Once
It’s important to make sure you fill your pot with just the right amount of grease. Too much and it will overflow when you add your bird, too little and you won’t be able to cover the entire turkey.
To avoid either of these mistakes, place the turkey in your pot and fill with enough water to cover every inch. Remove your bird and mark the water level with a marker or piece of tape. Pour the water out, dry the turkey and the pot, then fill the pot to the marked level with Bacon Up.
Prepare Your Bird for the Fry
Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and that the giblets and any water/slush have been removed from the cavity. Add your seasonings, a dry rub and/or injection work well for deep-fried turkey. Before lowering into the hot bacon grease, make sure the turkey is dry both inside and out.
Temperature is Key
Before putting your turkey in the pot, heat grease to approximately 375°F. Don’t overheat it. The temperature will drop when you place the turkey in the pot. Once you’ve got your bird safely nestled in the hot Bacon Up, maintain a temperature of 350°F throughout the cooking process. Too high and you’ll burn your bird. Too low and it won’t cook properly.
Calculating Your Cook Time
You’ll want to cook your turkey approximately three minutes per pound. For instance, if you have a 12-pound bird, leave it in the pot for 36 minutes. The internal temperature of a fully cooked turkey should clock in at 180°F.
Easy Does It
When lifting the turkey out of the pot (and when lowering it in for that matter), slow and steady wins the race. Allow the bacon grease to drain of the bird as you remove it from the pot. Before cutting into your delectable feast, let it rest for about 20 minutes.