Hey, kids, it's almost Thanksgiving and a friend of mine on teh Facebooks asked me if I had any turkey frying wisdom to share.
Since she can't be the only one frying turkey for the first time, I thought I'd share it here, too.
Turkey Frying Wisdom -
1) The person responsible for frying the turkey shall have no responsibilities/distractions other than watching the turkey for the entire time the oil is heating and the bird is in. In other words, don't expect your husband to also be able to peel potatoes - you don't want to leave it unattended from the time you turn on the gas to heat the oil until you pull the bird out.
2) Follow ALL directions, including the part where you put the turkey in the pot with water instead of oil to see how much water/oil it's going to displace. The last thing you want to have is the oil running over.
3) Make sure the turkey is THOROUGHLY thawed. If it's frozen it's not dinner - it's an explosive device. I'm not kidding. Note - check your turkey the night before because we've had ours in the fridge for the correct number of days, before, and it hasn't been thawed when we've gone to take it out. You want to feel around and make sure that you don't feel any frozen pieces, inside or out. If you do, lukewarm water (running through and over it) is the best way to ensure a good thaw. And this takes time - don't do it at the last minute. You'll get in a rush and you'll miss a spot and KABOOM!
4) Keep the kids and pets away from the turkey frying area. Do it on a level driveway or patio, not over dry leaves or in the grass or anywhere where it could tip over. Try to stay out of the wind, if you can, to help keep the heat even. Stay at least 10 feet from any structure, especially the house, and be aware of what's above you (tree limbs, overhangs, etc.)
5) Have everything that you're going to need washed and ready to go - including whatever tools you're going to use to get the turkey out (the scariest part, except for putting it in, IMHO). You'll need a big roaster pan to put the turkey into when it's done. Don't forget that you'll need gloves (BJ uses work gloves) to protect your hands when you remove it.
6) Don't stuff it! LOL
7) Watch a couple of videos (YouTube) to see what you're getting into.
8) Make sure you've got enough propane.
9) If the temperature gets too high, your oil could boil. If that happens it's going to bubble up over the sides of the pot, and then you're going to have boiling oil meeting the fire. It's pretty much all over at that point. That's why it's imperative that you watch the temperature of the oil very carefully. No football! No distractions!
10) Read all the directions twice. Consider doing a dry run before The Big Day so that you know what you're doing. We did a practice turkey the weekend before our first Thanksgiving. Oh, and be sure to pat the skin of the turkey dry before you put it in the oil - oil and water don't mix.
That said, it tastes really good (not at all oily - it's like fried chicken, all the oil stays on the skin), the inside isn't any worse for you than baked turkey, and your oven is free to heat up everything else (and the men are all outside bonding over the flames and barking like Tim Allen). We think it's worth it. But then again, BJ's used to working with rocket fuel, so it's kind of a walk in the park for him. :)
(I'm feeling a lot better than I was earlier when I posted that psychotic rant thing. Thanks for all the support, both here and on Facebook. You are the wind beneath my wings.)