Deep frying whole turkeys has become fantastically popular in South Florida over the past several years. The turkey is anything but greasy; the deep frying process seals the outside and the turkey remains incredibly juicy, while the skin gets wonderfully crispy.
There are a zillion ways you can season this with the injector – some folks like using liquid seafood boil seasoning (which I do not recommend…that stuff is for boiling seafood, not frying turkeys), but there are as many different ways as there are Floridians! For instance, Jim McCarthy, who fries turkeys frequently, wrote in and said that for injecting he uses one bottle of liquid garlic juice, one bottle of Tiger Sauce, one bottle of Cajun Sunshine sauce, and two tablespoons of red pepper. Try anything you like. Your mileage may vary.
Dennis McCarthy wanted to correct a few things about his fried turkey recipe:
1. Vegetable Oil: 325 degrees for 3.5 minutes per pound.
2. Peanut Oil: 375 degrees for 3 minutes per pound.
If it floats, it is overcooked. I always use a Cajun/butter injection or some other injection sauce.
You can buy the turkey frying (and seafood boiling) apparatus called “King Kooker” all over the place now. Glades Gas has been selling them for the past ten years or so, varying in prices from about $70-80 depending on the size of the burner.
When you’re finished and the oil has cooled, you can filter, store and reuse the oil for other frying, or for frying more turkeys. According to the Texas Peanut Producers Board, “peanut oil may be used three or four times to fry turkeys before signs of deterioration begin. Such indications including foaming, darkening, or smoking excessively, indicating the oil must be discarded. Other signs of deteriorated oil include a rancid smell and/or failure to bubble when food is added.
NOTE ABOUT PEANUT OIL: I’ve heard from many people who’ve told me that either they or their children are severely allergic to peanuts and peanut product. I’s not necessary to use peanut oil to fry the turkey; it’s just what’s commonly used in Louisiana because of its flavor as well as its very high smoking point; you don’t want your oil catching fire. Any cooking oil that’s good for deep frying and has a high smoking point (450 degrees preferably) will do!
Good luck with your turkey frying and enjoy!