.One of the “gourmet” food items in the US is anything fried from ice cream to chips, but a fast growing obsession is deep frying the entire holiday #Turkey in peanut oil. This is tricky. Imagine lowering a 20 lb. lump of cold, wet bird into boiling oil - disaster looms. There are even special cookers sold just for this purpose. However, they aren't any safer, they are just big pots on a gas burner. The Recipe Revisionist is always looking for new ways to do things in the kitchen..
Traditional turkey perfection!
I must say I never tried dunking a whole turkey in #Hot Oil like a gigantic potato, but I have fried pieces of turkey and I must say the taste is incredible. Deep frying turkey is a wonderful way to get a golden brown bird cooked to perfection.
Anyway, here is the traditional hot oil method explained.
Starting with a very big pot and a gallon or more of peanut oil heated to 180° C you lower the towel dried turkey very slowly into the hot oil - use some long handled tool because your hand is going to suffer severe burns from the splattered oil if you do it with an oven mitt, even a silicon one!
Be very certain there is someone standing by with a fire extinguisher because the amount of heat required to keep the oil even marginally hot with that amount of cold food added requires an open flame - an electric “burner” just can’t provide enough heat.
(Cheer up, I’m giving the traditional method first for those who haven’t done it before.
The easy way comes next.)
Also be sure that whatever you use to hold the turkey is sturdy enough to not let it slip off and plunge into the oil thereby plunging you into the nearest A&E with second degree burns from splattered hot oil.
Cooking time varies but if you can keep the oil hot it should take about five minutes plus 3 minutes per pound.
I promise you the results can be spectacular as long as nothing goes wrong.
The BigEasy way.
I like the taste of deep fried food but hate the extra oil and dangers so I cook chicken, ribs, brisket, turkeys, and even hamburgers in something called the Char-Broil BigEasy which looks like an all black R2D2 (I checked UK Amazon and it is available in the UK.)
This is a gas or electric cooker (skip the electric if you can possibly use the propane version where you live) which doesn’t use oil, doesn’t have flare ups, and produces results comparable to the dangerous oil-fry method..
In the propane BigEasy, the heat comes from a ring burner just inside the black outer steel shell, but the cooking is done inside a double walled stainless steel interior (you can see the shiny metal in the photo. There is no flame under the food, hence no flare ups. It's the big one in the middle.
Cooking time is more like 10 minutes per pound on a turkey and 8 minutes for chicken, but overall cooking time is similar to the deep fried hot oil method because you don’t have to wait for the oil to heat up or clean it up afterwards.
The wire basket comes with a wire shelf and I’ve gotten four chickens in the cooker at one time, or one 20 lb. turkey. Accessory baskets and gadgets let you cook chicken drumsticks or ribs. the basket has a handle and there is a gadget to lift it with but there is no need to pre-heat this cooker so that's mostly needed for removing the cooked food.
If you want to add the flavor of smoke there is room for wood chips in a special basket which can be changed during cooking (I had to do that twice when slow cooking pastrami.) Any oil drips down into a removable basket.
This isn't a true smoker, it is too hot - If you want to grill burgers or something else there is a heavy steel grill included - it goes on top of the basket and you can use both at the same time.
All the heat for items in the basket is infrared and food cooks very evenly - my only caution is to use a wireless thermometer because food can go from just right to overcooked in a few minutes.
BTW, I am a big fan of the BigEasy but have no connection with them - I would list another infrared cooker if I knew of one. #infrared smoker