Let’s Talk Turkey…


Deep fried. You’ve heard the hype on these new frying pots that do a turkey to “perfection?” They are not all they are gobbled up to be.

People lined up to have their “gooses cooked” in them last Thanksgiving. My brother has wanted to buy one of these fryers ever since they hit the market. When the sale price in a flyer recently struck him as right, he bought one.

The turkey that was meant to christen his pot had been in the freezer since November, but there was this little glitch – the cooking oil. Peanut oil was recommended, and it takes nearly 5 gallons – that’s a cost of over $30! No problem, he says, he can buy a filter to take out any particles of residue from cooking, then he can use the oil at least 5 times.

It took a long time for that much oil to heat up. (A small turkey could already have been half done in an oven.) Finally, when the thermometer that came with the cooker was up to temp, in went the turkey, but look out!

You can’t lower something that large with so much moisture into a narrow pot with that much hot grease very quickly. Down he lowered and up overflowed the oil. Luckily, my brother had fed his outside animals while he was waiting so he had changed from his open sandals to his barn boots.

A considerable amount of scalding oil spilled down on his boots and onto the extra piece of stone walkway he had used as a base.

When the turkey was done, it was beautifully browned, but the outside pieces – legs and wings – were too crunchy. The shaker of flavored seasoning that came with the cooker had a great flavor (like the broasted chicken you buy), but, although this bird had been thawed and in the fridge all afternoon, it wasn’t carved and ready to eat until 8 o’clock that evening.

Well, it was the first time he used it, said my brother; he would know better what to do next time.

True, and I will, too. I’ll cook my whole birds in the oven, or, if I eat where his fryer is used, I’ll be prepared to pack my sleeping bag.


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