Q&A: Deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey

Consumer Reports News: November 08, 2010 12:51 PM

Q: I’m thinking of deep frying a turkey this year. Any suggestions?
 
A: For starters, do not buy an outdoor propane-powered fryer. Without a thermostat control, the fryer can heat the oil to the point of combustion. These models can hold five gallons of oil, and cooking with that much oil at a high temperature poses added risk. Electric fryers are much safer.
 
The Masterbuilt Butterball Professional Series Indoor Electric Turkey Fryer we recently tested is designed for indoor use, has a thermostat, and uses two gallons of oil. The turkey turned out nicely browned and very juicy—only the thighs were a bit oily. The fryer can cook a bird up to 14 pounds, so do a headcount before buying. 

Keep in mind that oil and water don’t mix, so be sure the turkey is completely thawed and use paper towels to dry the bird before slowly lowering into the fryer—always wear oven mitts. If you already own a propane fryer and are set on using it, Underwriters Laboratories has some safety tips you should follow. As for what to do with all that grease, you can strain it and reuse or ask a local restaurant if they’ll add it to their grease bin. 
 
While the bird is frying, watch this video on How to carve a turkey. As for the rest of your meal, try some of the holiday foods we've recently tested including:

—Kimberly Janeway


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