It’s no secret that fried foods taste really, REALLY good! Deep frying a turkey is a popular method that can be fraught with perils, though. Hot oil can splash and burn skin and hands, boil over and catch fire and in general is a risky cooking method.
But sometimes, simplicity goes a long way. There are many variations of fried turkey that can be prepared using The Big Easy® Oil-Less Turkey Fryer by Char-Broil®, but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to do much more than prep, cook and serve to get masterful — and quick — results.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- You can – and should – absolutely consider brining your Big Easy-bound bird to ensure it’s as moist as it is delicious.
- Since it is not recommended to place stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey, we recommend some aromatics – things like herbs, onion, garlic and lemon – to enhance your flavor profile.
Make sure you place your cooker in a level spot away from wind or other adverse weather.
How to Brine a Turkey
Two days before your big dinner make sure the turkey is either thawing (if frozen) or thawed and begin the brine process one day before. It seems most everyone agrees that brining the turkey is a great idea. If you like, you can also boost flavors by injecting the bird before you cook – but that doesn’t add moisture the way brining does. Follow these directions for a basic turkey brine to get a tender and flavorful turkey.
The Argument of Stuffing the Turkey
Although it might be tempting to stuff the cavity of the turkey with your favorite edibles, you won’t want to if you are frying your turkey. The stuffing will keep the turkey from cooking evenly, making the inner meat underdone and the outer meat dry. Try making a baked stuffing recipe instead. To take advantage of the turkey cavity, try adding a few smaller aromatics such as lemon or orange slices and sprigs of fresh rosemary. These are light enough to not affect the cook time of the turkey, but can still provide tons of savory flavor.
How to a Get Crispy Fried Turkey
There’s nothing better than crispy, brown skin crusting the outside of your juicy, fried turkey. There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to get that perfectly crispy.
- Make sure the turkey has sufficiently dried after brining. Use paper towels to pat the skin dry and then allow the turkey to rest in the fridge for a few hours to let some of that moisture escape. The drier the meat, the faster the skin will heat up to create a crispy coating.
- Lather the bird in either butter or olive oil just before cooking.
From my experience I think the 12lb size bird is perfect for cooking in The Big Easy. Based upon the feedback and comments posted in The Big Easy Users Forum - I'll pass along some thoughts on how you might go about ensuring your holiday dinner is a success (well, at least as far as the birds are concerned!) in The Big Easy or Big Easy Smoker, Roaster, Grill.
- 1 whole turkey 12 - 13 lb is a good size
- Spice rub if you like
- Aromatics like herbs, onions and/or citrus
- The day of your meal, make sure your cooker is on a level area that is located in a place that is out of the wind because that only causes problems.
- I find it helps to wipe the cooking basket with a paper towel that I've lightly coated with vegetable oil to help prevent the minor sticking that can occur. I'd leave the bird out after rinsing so they achieve room temperature before cooking.
- You won't need to baste while cooking and be sure to avoid any rubs or sauces with sugars on the outside of the bird, these will caramelize and then burn long before the bird is done.
- Place the bird - breast up - in the cooking basket and place the basket in the cooker. Turn it on.
- At 12 pounds it should take about 90+ minutes to cook to just under 10 degrees from the target temp. I use the handle to lift the basket and set it on a baking sheet whilst I probe various parts with an instant read thermometer. Do also use the meat thermometer provided - or one you prefer - to remain in the bird when cooking.
- To remove the bird lift the basket and unceremoniously 'dump' the bird into a holding tray and use your hands to bet the back down and breast up - cover the bird with aluminum foil making sure to seal the edges of the tray, and then place a couple of towels on top to serve as additional insulation. It's gonna keep cooking, retain all the moisture sealed in by the infrared 'searing' and be juicy and tasty.
- I'd recommend you present this bird and then go to the kitchen to carve it... unless you are a virtuoso at bird carving, do it in the confines of the kitchen and make a lovely presentation on a platter.